Last year, I wrote a post on the above topic discussing, among other things, the approach proposed by Games organisers to tackle such sharp practices as “ambush marketing” and “unfair association with the Games”. They even produced a list of restricted words and phrases (including: Olympic, Paralympic, London Games, 2012 etc) to protect brand exclusivity and sponsorship preorgatives. However, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and when the world’s fastest 100M athlete cheekily commandeered a photographer’s camera to take pictures of the photographers, spectators and fellow athletes, a rather interesting debate was ignited in a popular photography magazine forum, mainly about copyright and ownership rights of those pictures, which were subsequently published by the photographer in his own newspaper.
The forum discussion can be found here, and it includes the following key questions:
- Who owns the rights to the pictures taken; Is it Usain Bolt, or the Photographer (i.e. owner of the camera and memory card)?
- Does the fact that the camera and memory card (including photographic data) remain property of the photographer have any bearing on rights ownership to Bolt’s pictures?
- Should Bolt have any right to the art (or computerised data) that he created on equipment he does not own? (this one prompted comparisons with a Banksy grafitti art on someone’s wall)
- Does the photographer’s publication of the picture (presumably without permission) violate Bolt’s rights as ‘artiste’, or arguably as copyright owner?
- What about the venue / organisers rules and conditions regarding accredited photographers and their works?
All very good questions, and no doubt something a good IP lawyers can argue for and / or against, depending on who is paying the fees, but suffice it to say that the best comment, in my opinion, came from a forum member who reminded others that “copyright subsists upon the creation of the art…” and that it rightfully belongs to the individual creating the art, i.e. Usain Bolt, in this instance. Furthermore, I would add that the author of an original work, even if not the copyright owner, also has the moral right to seek redress against any objectionable use of the work.
*Images sourced, from left to right:
- http://www.petapixel.com/2012/08/09/usain-bolt-nabs-photographers-dslr-snaps-awesome-pov-shots/ (camera owner in red circle)
The end of a successful London 2012 Olympics, heralds a return to reality not least for the people of London who played host to the world for two straight weeks. Numerous events, achievements and incidents occurred during the week, but a critical factor for me was the superb organisation which provide some great lessons for any business to embrace and emulate.
Below are four great lessons from the London 2012 Olympic Games:
- Never promise too much – the organisers of London 2012 did not promise more than they could deliver. In fact, the closing ceremony performance at the Beijing 2008 Games gave little hint of what was to come as the Olympic flag was handed over to London Mayor, Boris Johnson
- Wow them with your opener – The opening ceremony for London 2012 was a real eye opener for people on just what the Games could deliver, and they did not disappoint.
- Deliver the goods – The most important part of the Olympics are the games, and London 2012 successfully delivered in terms of: organisation, audience participation (apart from early issues with rare tickets vs. empty seats), television coverage (the BBC coverage was outstanding), and a remarkable medal haul for the host nation.
- Be gracious in your exit – The games concluded with a music laden closing ceremony, and the Olympic flag was passed with some aplomb to Brazil, the next host nation which also gave a taste of what to expect in Rio de Janeiro come 2016. Even the departure experience at Heathrow Airport was something to write home about.
“Successful”, “fantastic”, “enjoyable”, “brilliant” were some of the descriptive words used by athletes, volunteers, organisers and spectators at these last Games, and those are words that any business should like to hear coming from their clients, customers, employees and partners.