International Olympic Committee Tries to Shut Down Olympic Photos On Flickr
I was disappointed to hear from Duncan Riley over at the Inquisitr that it looks like the International Olympics Committee is playing hardball with people over photos of the Olympics on Flickr.
Duncan points us to the letter at left sent from the IOC’s Director of Legal Affairs, Howard M. Strupp, to photographer Richard Giles. The letter is a legal threat against Giles for hosting images of the Olympics on his Flickrstream in what the IOC feels is a violation of the terms and conditions of his ticket. You can read a large size version of the BS letter that the IOC sent to Giles here.
This really sucks.
The International Olympic Committee is being terribly proprietary with images of their events here and I hope this cease and desist letter backfires on them. I’m equally concerned that the IOC would consider use on Flickr as something other than private use. Flickr is a non-commercial website (by the definition of the terms and conditions of the site, unless approval is received from Flickr for commercial use) and a place for people to share photos with their family, friends and yes the world. That the IOC would go after non-commercial use is disturbing.
What’s even worse, it appears that the IOC is trying to argue with Giles that even using the *word* Olympics in his photostream is somehow some sort of violation.
I hope that the EFF or some other organization can come to the aid of Giles and I hope that he doesn’t end up backing down against the lawyers at the IOC. I’m not sure whoever initiated this action at the IOC but they should probably be fired. Flickr (as well as other online publications) represent a wonderful place for the IOC to generate free publicity over their games. The Olympics really belong to all of us. They are typically associated with goodwill from all nations over the world. To taint this image by being hostile with photographers is just stupid.
Personally as a photographer, learning of this news will ensure that I never attend the Olympics myself. Why would I want to go to an event where they use their money grubbing attack dog lawyers after the event to attack you for sharing positive images of your experience non-commercially with others. The IOC should issue an apology to Giles and tell him that he can leave his photos up and publicly state that non-commercial use of Olympic photography is both allowed and encouraged.
Thanks Duncan for the heads up.