The US Olympics Committee has gone off the deep end, when it comes to intellectual property. It’s willing to sue anyone to protect their trademarks, even when the use is no real threat. But the committee’s latest claim is an entirely new level of absurdity.
What’s getting the US Olympics Committee in a tizzy this time? Tweets. Specifically any company that tweets about the Olympic Games and isn’t a sponsor. ESPN obtained a letter from the US Olympic Committee chief marketing officer Lisa Baird who outlines the absurd demands.
“Commercial entities may not post about the Trials or Games on their corporate social media accounts,” Baird writes, apparently in earnest. “This restriction includes the use of USOC’s trademarks in hashtags such as #Rio2016 or #TeamUSA.”
And according to ESPN, it gets even more absurd. Apparently the letter says that any company whose primary mission isn’t media—I guess that excludes us—is forbidden from using any pictures taken at the Olympics, sharing, and even reposting anything from the official Olympics account.
Does that mean that a non-sponsor can’t retweet the official Olympics Twitter account without facing some kind of legal action? I guess there’s only one way to find out. Who’s going to be the first company to try?