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February 17, 2006 3:09 PM   Subscribe

HotOlympians.com has been shut down by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The domain name hotolympians.com is infringing on federal trademarks. When I registered the domain name, I did some research on olympic trademarks and came to understand... that "olympic" was trademarked and "olympians" was not. I was wrong. And thus we will continue publishing under a new domain name which will be up shortly...

When asked why a local newspaper could publish a feature of an athlete right next to an advertisement, I was told that we weren't a news operation. I was told that hotolympians.com jeapordized American athlete's right to participate in the games.

posted by Tin Man (35 comments total)

 
4.8
posted by trondant at 3:24 PM on February 17, 2006


In a related story, the Spellympics is being sued by the Olympics for use of the suffix 'lympics'.
posted by dgaicun at 3:35 PM on February 17, 2006


3.9
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:37 PM on February 17, 2006


Olympia, WA is fucked.
posted by mullacc at 3:42 PM on February 17, 2006


ska-ROOD!
posted by zerokey at 3:44 PM on February 17, 2006


Did Scooby Doo ever have this problem with Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics?
posted by Fat Guy at 3:44 PM on February 17, 2006


Damn, Fat Guy! Your link is a 10!
posted by zerokey at 3:45 PM on February 17, 2006


I suggest hothletes.com be used.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:46 PM on February 17, 2006


HotParticipantsInAGroupOfModernInternationalAthleticContestsHeldAsSeparateWinterAndSummerCompetitionsEveryFourYearsInADifferentCity.com?
posted by steef at 3:47 PM on February 17, 2006


How am I going to say 'Ho' To Lympians now?
posted by Navek Rednam at 3:50 PM on February 17, 2006


So, this self-proclaimed 'publisher' puts up a bunch of photos of athletes next to a bunch of advertisements and is surprised when he gets slapped around for it?

Uh, sounds to me like he was doing nothing more than trying to cash in on the games.

"Rule 41 specifically forbids Olympic athletes to appear in any advertisement, even if it is just a mention of the athlete’s name or image, during the 17-day period of the Olympic Games unless the athlete has obtained a written waiver of the rule."

He violated their rules, and they called him on it. I don't really see why anyone would be surprised by this, especially in sue-happy America.
posted by drstein at 3:56 PM on February 17, 2006


Of course they would shut down the HotOlympians. It's the winter olympics not the summer. HotOlympians would only cause confusion and lead people to expect to see something other than just white people from Canada, the United States and Europe competing in silly just invented events stolen from the X games involving athletic feats like letting gravity pull you down a hill either standing on two pieces of wood or lying down on one piece of wood or even better lying down head first and maybe with a close friend or two while wearing latex.

You want to be an athelete in my books? Do the event going uphill and not lying down.
posted by srboisvert at 3:58 PM on February 17, 2006


1.2

/former E. German judge
posted by PurplePorpoise at 3:59 PM on February 17, 2006


And yeah, I read about who Aaron Bailey is. Being such the blogger that he is, you'd have thought he would have researched the USOC rules a bit more first.
posted by drstein at 3:59 PM on February 17, 2006


drstein: He didn't violate their rules. "Rule 41 specifically forbids Olympic athletes...." He is not an Olympic athlete. He may have infringed on the "Olympian" trademark, and he may have infringed on the copyright of the photos' owners (if they weren't his), but he didn't violate the USOC's rules because he is not subject to them.
posted by aaronetc at 4:05 PM on February 17, 2006


I find the lack of advertising at the Olympics rather refreshing. And if you watch the games on CBC in the morning, they hardly ever cut to adverts. Primetime is a completely different story.
posted by furtive at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2006


I don't think I would ever have heard of that site if it hadn't been shut down by the USOC.
posted by clevershark at 4:25 PM on February 17, 2006


Clevershark, you're clearly not a gay man, then. :)

Dr. Stein - not sure I would characterize this as "trying to cash in on the games." More likely Aaron first thought it would be a cool idea, and the ads were secondary.
posted by Tin Man at 4:43 PM on February 17, 2006


Mullac, interestingly enough, according to the website Aaron Bailey did his original olympic-trademark research on, there is a blanket exception for

such business, goods or services are operated, sold and marketed in the state of Washington, west of the Cascade Mountain range, and marketing outside this area is not substantial
posted by nomisxid at 5:01 PM on February 17, 2006


Olympics organizations have ridiculous copyright setups. The card game Legend of the Five Rings used to back their cards like so. The symbol predates the modern Olympics by some 250 years, but nooo. The USOC gets a blanket trademark on any symbol involving 5 interlocking rings. So, one lengthy lawsuit later, the game now uses this design.
posted by kafziel at 5:12 PM on February 17, 2006


well, POO on the IOC.
posted by TrinityB5 at 5:39 PM on February 17, 2006


If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter....
posted by spilon at 5:41 PM on February 17, 2006


The IOC has some pretty idiotic IP laws written just for them. It's rediculous, and it's not like they'd ever kick America out of the games, jesus.
posted by delmoi at 6:25 PM on February 17, 2006


Fat Guy, that show definitely jumped the shark when they went to the moon.

Jumping the shark in its final episode. Top work, that.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:33 PM on February 17, 2006


According this, you can get anyone kicked out of the olympics by posting their pic next to an ad, even if they don't recieve payment or even know about it. Much easier than getting some white-trash friends to hit them in the knee cap with crowbar.
posted by 445supermag at 8:39 PM on February 17, 2006


Looks like they got away with it in 2004.
posted by mediareport at 10:11 PM on February 17, 2006


A policy of kicking a nation out of the games because of the actions of one of its citizens is bound to be abused, eventually, by someone.
posted by JHarris at 1:23 AM on February 18, 2006


According this, you can get anyone kicked out of the olympics by posting their pic next to an ad, even if they don't recieve payment or even know about it.

I saw this issue exactly the same way.

This is obviously not the way the rules are to be interpreted.

Want to guarantee a win for the US? Put the major competitors on a site filled top to bottom with porn and herbal supplement ads.

Go for the Gold! USA NUMBER 1!
posted by Ynoxas at 5:49 AM on February 18, 2006


HotOlympians would only cause confusion and lead people to expect to see something other than just white people from Canada, the United States and Europe

Forgive me this derail/statement of the obvious but my husband and I had a discussion about this the other night. We started listing all the countries in the world where they have limited/no access to snow or ice and therefore little chance of competing in these "world-wide" competitions: Most of Asia (with the exception of China,) Africa, South America, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, and Australia. Are there many Australians competing?

Guess that's why the Winter Olympics hold so little appeal to me. They are limited to the wealthier/colder nations.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:55 AM on February 18, 2006


therefore little chance of competing in these "world-wide" competitions

Do you want to get us started on talking about the World Series?
posted by hugsnkisses at 9:45 AM on February 18, 2006


OK, WTF. I want to buy that domain off of him and post up hawt hawt pics of Hera and Aphrodite.

Then let's see them talk about trademarks.
posted by InnocentBystander at 10:22 AM on February 18, 2006


I used to play a card game called "Legends of the Five Rings" that had on the back of each its cards, five rings interlocked into a circle. After years of publication with no problems, the IOC forced the design to be removed because the Olympics have five rings interlocked into a chain.

Lame.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:40 PM on February 18, 2006


You don't say . . .
posted by dgaicun at 10:27 PM on February 18, 2006


God dammit. Take two.

I used to play a card game called "Legends of the Five Rings". . . the IOC forced the design to be removed . . .

You don't say. . .
posted by dgaicun at 10:29 PM on February 18, 2006


Who cares about the olympics anymore? It's just one big corporate ad now.
posted by muppetboy at 10:31 PM on February 18, 2006


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