Athletes Banned From Podcasting At The 2008 Olympics

Feb 20th, 2008 | By | Category: Citizen Media, Internet TV, iPods & Portable Media Players, Video, Video Podcasts, Vlogs

Olympic logoThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued guidelines (pdf) regarding blogging and other user generated media at the 2008 Beijing Olympiad. And while the Olympics may be a celebration of athleticism and global togetherness, they aren’t going to be a celebration of personal expression.

The IOC’s guidelines address rules for blogging and other user-generated media for “accredited people (Olympic athletes, media representatives, officials and staff”:

  • The IOC considers blogging a form of personal expression, not a form of journalism;
  • Because they don’t consider blogging a form of journalism, it will be allowed;
  • Their definition of a blog is a website that is a personal diary, so blog entries should not contain interviews or stories about other people at the Olympics;

Stranger still, the blogging guidelines effectively ban athletes and other accredited people from podcasting or photoblogging:

3. No Sound or Moving Images of the Games

The dissemination of moving images of the Games through any media, including display on the Internet, is a part of the IOC’s intellectual property rights. No sound or moving images (including sequences of still photographs which simulate moving images) of any Olympic events, including sporting action, Opening, Closing and Medal Ceremonies or other activities which occur within any zone which requires an Olympic identity and accreditation card (or ticket) for entry – e.g. competition and practice venues, Olympic Village, Main Press Centre – (“Accredited Zone”) may be made available, whether on a live or delayed basis, regardless of source.

4. Still Pictures

As a general rule, blogs by Accredited Persons containing Olympic Content must not include any still picture taken within Accredited Zones at the Games. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Accredited Persons may feature still pictures taken of themselves within Accredited Zones provided that such pictures do not contain any sporting action of the Games or the Opening, Closing or Medal Ceremonies of the Games. It is the Accredited Persons’ responsibility to obtain the consent of other persons appearing in any pictures which may featured in accordance with this Section.

In otherwords, audio podcasting, video podcasting, photoblogging and vlogging are banned for Olympic athletes, media representatives, officials and staff.

Anyone violating the guidelines may be banned from the Olympics and sued for damages.

via Nir Ofir

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6 Responses to “Athletes Banned From Podcasting At The 2008 Olympics”

  1. Ed Roberts says:

    I can certainly understand the “no pictures, videos, etc of the events” thing. Think of it much like the NFL… or really any pro sporting event. You are not allowed to do any of this. It also cements the fact that the Olympics are very much a business.

    On the other hand, I find it rather interesting that the IOC claims ownership of any media produced at the Olympic Village or at the ceremonies, “whether on a live or delayed basis, regardless of source.” That means that the IOC owns all those pictures that the athletes take as they are walking into the Opening Ceremony. This goes WAAAY beyond blogging and new media.

  2. Ed Roberts says:

    Other thoughts… it will be interesting to see the difference from China this year, to the winter games 2 years from now. Not necessarily with regards to the continued evolution of user-generated-media, but just how much influence the China card has in their rules.

  3. Rian says:

    I fear a lot of people will spin this as an issue of Chinese censorship. This is not China’s rule, it’s the IOC’s. This is an is an issue of copyright protection and greed, not thought control or propaganda.

  4. James Lewin says:

    Ed, Rian – good points.

    Definitely corporate censorship – not political – but people like to think of Olympics as more than a corporate entity.

    Ultimately, though, I think this hurts the Olympics because blogs, podcasts, video podcasts would be more likely to grab the Internet media audience than same-old same-old.

  5. […] International Olympic Committee (IOC) has effectively banned athletes from audio and video podcasting, photoblogging and vlogging their personal takes on the event, which largely misses the new media viewpoint audiences are sure […]

  6. jvln101 says:

    NO PODCASTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I wonder why this year I have absolutely NO INTEREST in the Olympic Games. It is because of Corporate Greed, Censorship and banning the Games from being seen by only a few. This is OBSCENE in the present world where access to World News Events such as this should be accessible to all. But GE has decided that they own it all.

    Join the Boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Bejing. I am not watching, participating, buying any product or endorsing any sponsor that has anything to do with what these games have become.

    Take that, greedy corporate sponsors. Without a population to buy your products, you are NOBODY.

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