LOCOG’s Low Blow to Linking

London 2012 is a Good Leader
I lived in Sydney during the 2000 games and I don’t recall the level of extreme cock-up + nastiness (well, if you exclude Kevan Gosper’s daughter) in the lead up than is occurring at the moment with the London Games.

This maybe whimsy on my part, my memories of living in Sydney are almost all positive. It maybe that SOCOG had the same entrenched, mean-spirited, profit-centred (not driven), secretive agenda as LOCOG.

BoingBoing has pointed out that London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) committee, “says you’re only allowed to link to their site if you have nice things to say” and that calls for some investigation.

(Please assume some ‘Detectivey’ music to suit the sort of sleuthing that appeals to you – I am playing the music from the scene from All the President’s Men where Woodward and Bernstein are sitting in the Library of Congress and the camera pans up and away from them.)

Oh, here we go, from LOCOG itself:

“a. Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner.”

(My emphasis) That excerpt comes via the excellent Index on Censorship and its prime mover Padraig Reidy. IoC, that’s Index on Censosrhip not the nastily unpleasant International Olympic Committee, is a must-read. As a declaration of self-interest, I wrote one single piece for it few years ago, but no one else is going to blow my trumpet about that.

This suggests that, I can’t link in a fair-comment, critical manner that is also derogatory to a website of a commercial interest – and remember that LOCOG is a private and commercial organisation.

This commercial status also means that it is exempt from Freedom of Information requests. Thankfully, in terms of funding, LOCOG’s private commercial status does mean this:

“The company has a core budget of over £2 billion, with almost all revenue raised from the private sector.”

Excellent… hold on a second!

“almost all revenue raised from the private sector”

I’ll have a look at that a little later. For now, however, I can’t link to them if I am going to maintain that the sort of brand-policing being carried out on behalf of its sponsors represents a curtailment of consumer choice. The kind of consumer choice those same sponsors (sorry, ‘Partners’) demand when any form of regulation is suggested.

I can’t link in that case? I really want to see that one in court.

Please leave a comment. Many thanks.