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Olympic Committee Prohibits Streaming Apps, Vines and GIFs From Its Events ( 188

An anonymous reader writes: The Olympics Committee has introduced a new set of social media guidelines for the 2016 games. Not only will streaming applications and vines be prohibited, but GIFs will be too. TechCrunch reports: "Part of the new restriction appears in the official broadcast rules (PDF), under 'Internet and Mobile Platforms': '[...] the use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited.' Then, in the FAQ for the social and digital media guidelines (PDF): 'Broadcasting images via life-streaming applications (e.g. Periscope, Meerkat) is prohibited inside Olympic venues.' The versions of these documents updated for the 2014 games in Sochi don't have any comparable language, or at least nothing this specific. A possible exception is the 'Photographer's Undertaking,' which states: 'The dissemination of moving images or sound captured in an Olympic venue, through any media, including display on the internet, Mobile Platform and other interactive media or electronic medium, is strictly prohibited.'"
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Olympic Committee Prohibits Streaming Apps, Vines and GIFs From Its Events

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dont mess with the IOC's money.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Better yet, don't mess with the IOC. Just avoid the olympics entirely. Then we'll see how quickly they realize the stupidity of their decisions. Maybe.
      • you said the O word with out paying the fee there is a fine for that.

      • I have no choice but to do just that. Lacking a TV and any other means to access moving reports about the various events, I guess the sponsors will have to do without my eyeballs.

        • Re:ioc money (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bane2571 ( 1024309 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @09:50PM (#52648673)
          and just like that the Olympics became invisible to two whole generations because a third older generation want to maintain control of distribution.
          • by Salgak1 ( 20136 )

            and just like that the Olympics became invisible to two whole generations because a third older generation want to maintain control of distribution.

            I would say, not so much invisible, but irrelevant and unimportant. Given the plethora of stories of the truly epic level of fail of the Rio Olympics, it's probably best not to watch.

            Unless, suddenly, we get something like super-virulent flesh-eating bacteria start stripping athletes to the bone mid-event. That might get a few minutes of attention. . . as it's about the ONLY utter failure we haven't seen so far. .

          • The last "O" I paid any significant attention to was the 1972 games in Munich.. The only reason for that was the fact I was in the military, stationed near Munich, and was given a ticket to one of the events. Of course that event was scheduled the day the terrorists decided to do their business, postponing my ticketed event
            to later, though I did get to see it at the postponed time.. Since then, I have zero interest in those games...

      • by myid ( 3783581 )

        Better yet, don't mess with the IOC. Just avoid the olympics entirely. Then we'll see how quickly they realize the stupidity of their decisions. Maybe.

        If you're curious how the games turned out, but you don't want to encourage the major news organizations to report on the Olympics, then either

        1) check with Wikipedia (which is usually updated pretty quickly), or

        2) do an Internet search with a search engine that's not well-known like Google or Bing (ex: Ecosia), and in the resulting list of news listings on the game, click the link of a smaller-sized newspaper.

      • Better yet, don't mess with the IOC. Just avoid the olympics entirely. Then we'll see how quickly they realize the stupidity of their decisions. Maybe.

        Exactly. Don't boycott the Olympics; simply IGNORE them.

  • Do us a big favor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @06:10PM (#52647685) Homepage
    Prohibit television broadcasts, too.
    • Prohibit television broadcasts, too.

      They're fine so long as they use Animated PNG! :-D

    • Prohibit television broadcasts, too.

      That's where the money is. The next step will be prohibiting memories and verbal descriptions of events. So be careful when you describe how the Zika-infected Bulgarian weightlifter crapped his drawers while executing the dead lift. You may be facing a lawsuit. []

      • Major League Baseball already does that, you know.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          While it's almost certainly not permitted to broadcast your own play-by-play in real-time, you can certainly give those accounts at a later time. MLB prohibits using the calls by the announcers without permission. They're part of the broadcast, so it's logical that they would be subject to copyright.

          • While it's almost certainly not permitted to broadcast your own play-by-play in real-time, you can certainly give those accounts at a later time.

            You can however broadcast a play-by-play of the broadcast without permission. Oh, they could bring a lawsuit over it but I think you'd be on safe legal ground. That's basically what media companies do all the time. Nothing illegal about real time second hand report of events. ABC is under no obligation to kowtow to NBC regarding reporting facts as long as they don't use copyrighted materials or trademarks without permission.

            MLB prohibits using the calls by the announcers without permission.

            MLB can claim to prohibit whatever they want but unless you are actually rebroad

            • A lot of this sort of BS would not hold up in court, if it were actually tested. Specifically, a friend of mine who practices law told me once, in no uncertain terms, that if someone actually took the NFL to court over their whole "Thou shall not utter the word 'Superbowl' unless you are one of our sponsoring partners we sold the rights to this year." thing would get handily shot down if ever taken to trial. The issue is that very few entities can afford the legal bills to take on the NFL and bring a case

        • MLB is not hiding behind the faÃade of amateur sports. This is becoming comparable to the exploitation of the NCAA. We have increasing evidence that the IOC is a corrupt organization that exists only to enrich the management. Sure it costs money, but much of that is paid for by the state. The players are owned by no one, unlike the MLB, and can only benefit by their exploits promoted on social media.
          • by johanw ( 1001493 )

            > The players are owned by no one, unlike the MLB

            You're saying the MLB uses slaves?

            • MLB, among other sports, has contracts that restrict players from switching teams freely. A MLB player on the Detroit Tigers team would have a choice between playing for the Tigers or not playing. That's enough to colloquially say the Tigers own the player, without being actual slavery.

      • Luckily, you're still fine if you ask someone: "Did you see that ludicrous display last night?"

    • Ban spectators. They are the ones taking all the illegal cell phone video and posting it online.
    • Prohibit television broadcasts, too.

      Why? Those don't show any sports, either.

    • They do prohibit TV broadcasts. To be able to do TV broadcasts, you have to bid, and the highest bidder in your country gets exclusive TV coverage rights for the country. The Olympics is the Copyright Cartel's wet dream.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2016 @06:13PM (#52647711)

    It's a big corrupt waste of time and resources, it funnels huge amounts of money out of the lower and middle class into the pockets of the wealthy and at the expense of nations..

    fuck the Olympics so fucking much

    • "It's a big corrupt waste of time and resources, it funnels huge amounts of money out of the lower and middle class into the pockets of the wealthy and at the expense of nations."

      It is a big STUPID corrupt waste etc.

      Why they think they can funnel big amounts of money but because it used to be a world-level event? What do they think these policies will do to world-wide interest on the Olympics? How much money do they think they'll be able to funnel away once nobody pays attention to the event?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I guess they're just for old people now.

  • by mpercy ( 1085347 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @06:27PM (#52647817)

    On any media at all.

    But the IOC's over-the-top "We own it all!" is just a bit much. They're almost to the point of enforcing death penalty should someone even think about posting a selfie of themselves at the Olympics.

    • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @06:35PM (#52647869)

      On any media at all.

      But the IOC's over-the-top "We own it all!" is just a bit much. They're almost to the point of enforcing death penalty should someone even think about posting a selfie of themselves at the Olympics.

      Dear mpercy,

      In a recent slashdot post, you used the word "Olympics" without the express written permission of the International Olympic Committee. This constitutes copyright infringement and unauthorized use of our intellectual property. To avoid a lawsuit, send us $980 within the next 24 hours, or face the wrath of our lawyers. Do not delay; we know where your little girl goes to school.

      Yours Truly,
      The International Olympic Committee
      An international, non-profit, non-governmental organization

      • Won't be surprised when the certified mail or "you've been served" paperwork arrives.

      • by fox171171 ( 1425329 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @10:43PM (#52648869)
        You used the work "Olympic" without our express written permission. This is punishable by swimming in Rio.
        • Ahh! "word" not "work". *sigh*
          • Ahh! "word" not "work". *sigh*

            Thank GOD that slashdot doesn't allow any super-advanced features like editing a post, even for a 2-minute period after posting. Because that would just be pandering to its users, eh?

            Seriously, slashdot- get your shit together and let people edit a fucking post. If you're worried about malicious edits, make posts editable for some short period after they've been posted. A couple of minutes would do it, just long enough to fix a typo or something.

            Now, cue the anal-retentive douche bags who'll feel that this

        • During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, stores with "Olympic" in their name were forced to cover up the "Olympic" part. It's a common store name because there's an Olympic Blvd [] in Los Angeles (ironically renamed after the 1932 Olympics), so a lot of stores on that street incorporate it into their name - Olympic Car Repair, Olympic Printing, etc.). I hear the same thing happened in Atlanta and Salt Lake City, though fewer businesses were affected since AFAIK they don't have an Olympic St/Blvd/Ave.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2016 @06:57PM (#52648013)

      We used to record the broadcasts, first on VCR of course, and later Tivo. But since the cable companies have obsoleted both of those, plus our PC tuners, with encrypted digital transmission, we simply won't watch at all. We are in a valley that does not receive any over-the-air signals so we don't have a choice - we must pay to watch television, even broadcast. We refuse to pay even more than we already are just to do what we've done since the late 70s - record television for later viewing and/or skipping of segments/advertisements we are not interested in watching. The amount of absolute crap that is mixed in with every few minutes of actual events and competitions is just too great. If we can't skip over the shit and watch the important stuff, fuck it.

      Because of this, our television watching has significantly decreased, as has our programming package (and also our monthly bill). When the recording options went to shit, we started watching "on demand" instead, and if it wasn't on that, we just didn't watch it. But now the cable company is further trying to extort even more money out of us by reducing "on demand" offerings to "HD only", which just pisses us off even more (we do not have a fancy new set). And to add even more headache, what on demand programming that had closed captions, no longer does. Cable company doesn't care because "on demand" is not required to carry captions like the live broadcasts. We of course are told we can (pay to) subscribe to their DVR service and record programming which would then have the captions preserved during playback. Fuck.

  • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @06:35PM (#52647867)

    are running the show.

    Wasn't the Olympics supposed to be about the worldwide celebration of amateur sport?
    That is, sport done for the love of it, not for money.

    This is what anonymization services were invented for, people!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Without the athletes, the IOCCC - no wait, that's the international obfuscated C code contest - uhm... the IOC is it? has nothing.

    It seems long past time for athletes to get together and say "No, fuck that. Either you let us record our own events, or we're not participating. Our sideways smartphone video and looped animated GIFs are not going to compete with NBC's twenty million dollar television cameras. Just ease the fuck up already and stop power tripping all over that shit."

    The athletes have all the

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2016 @06:40PM (#52647901)

    Does anyone even watch the Olympics anymore? For me, it just seems like a good way to block regularly scheduled programming. We get it, you sport.
    If they had a channel dedicated to olympics that you had to opt-in to... few would bother.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do they actually even show the Olympics anymore?
      Last time I tried to watch them, it was wall to wall profile pieces on athletes and the hardships they overcame, spliced with a few local travel pieces, updates on medal counts, post event athlete interviews and medal ceremonies. When they ran out of commercials they occasionally threw in the last 5 seconds of an event.
      That is unless it was an event no one cares about like the 500 mile cycling road race - which they showed in it's uncut entirety, at the expen

    • by Archfeld ( 6757 )

      I am really enjoying the Olympic Soccer games, but as for the general Olympic sports no I agree with you, very few are watching, compared to other international sporting events.

  • They don't want any videos of people with Zika getting out.

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @07:14PM (#52648065) Homepage

    Someone in the IOC needs to be picked up an shooken - hard.

    I guess this means that proud parents can't tweet pictures of their medal winning children.

    Attendees can't talk about what a great experience they're having.

    Everybody else ignoring what's going on there.

    • by joe_frisch ( 1366229 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @10:06PM (#52648751)

      Maybe if I saw random clips and pictures from the Olympics I might think about watching through some approved channel. As it stands, I likely will forget they are on and not watch at all.

      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        I wish that was an option in Denmark. Both of the major OTA TV channels are playing the Olympics non-stop, this after a summer of being full of Vuelta-something-España and Tour de France.

        Movies? Oh, every Friday night one of the channels has a 'vote' for a movie from the 70s, 80s, or 90s.

        Me thinks they're out of money.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      If those proud parents wanted to post anything, they should have signed a contract with the IOC and outbid all the combined broadcast companies in the world.

      They had the same opportunity as every other entity. And the attendeed should just be lucky they are allowed to go. Complain and they can go home. Do you listen to your pigs complain when you bring them to the slaughterhouse? They are property.

      Are you a comunist or what?

  • Excitement aborted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wokan ( 14062 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @07:22PM (#52648103) Journal

    If they're trying to prevent people from getting excited about the Olympics or share their enthusiasm, they've succeeded. At this point I really couldn't give a crap about the Olympic games. Now I just feel sorry for the athletes who are risking disease over something the IOC seems dead set on restricting access to.

  • This is very sad for me to say for those who have future Olympic dreams, but between the nightmare that is Rio infrastructure/security and this latest move to try and control all media, I sincerely hope that all future Olympic venues withdraw, and every other city on the planet tells the IOC to go fuck themselves.

    Perhaps that will be a gentle enough reminder as to why they should not act so damn arrogant.

  • So I'm assuming APNGs, MNGs, and WEBMs are OK?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Multinational meg-corps love to insist that they own everything and people must pay them, but that just aint so.

    WARNING: They DO own their copyrighted material, like logos, trademarks, commentary they create, artistic visual elements, etc. so people need to be careful about that stuff, but they DO NOT own the facts of the historical events.

    In the US, Pro football and pro baseball leagues are always insisting that nobody can report on the games without permission (i.e. $$$$) and they count on everybody being

  • They need to do this, because all those selfies that athletes took during the parade destroyed the Beijing Olympics. Oh wait... they didn't.

  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @08:36PM (#52648431) Homepage Journal
    Shorter IOC: "No dissemination of audio, photos, video, or any other form of media recording Olympic(R) events, participants, or organizers is permitted without the express permission of the IOC, granted solely to organizations that have agreed to all of our non-negotiable terms, and paid us a usurious fee."

    Seriously, I'm having trouble deciding whether this is old-fashioned out-of-control money-grubbing, or it's the IOC trying to keep a lid what is shaping up to be a gigantic figurative (and, in the case of the swimming events, literal) shit-show.

  • There's a reason. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @08:53PM (#52648511)

    There's a reason they're doing this. It's not just that the IOC is incredibly greedy. It's that their greed is fueled by NBC's money, and NBC is damn well going to get their pound of flesh for the $1.29 billion [] they paid for exclusive rights. If recent news reports are accurate, NBC is just barely breaking even, having sold $1.2 billion [] in advertising so far.

    So sure, blame IOC's greed. But don't forget to blame NBC's greed too. They want every second of Olympic imagery to be surrounded by inescapable commercials, or they could be in serious trouble. If the interest of advertisers falls off even a tiny bit, they start losing money on the Games, and they have a contract out through 2032.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      Well, it's nice to know that at least the athletes will be well paid for their performances here...
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @10:23PM (#52648795) Homepage

    What if the GIFs are produced automatically? My photo automatically uploads all photos to Google Photos. If Google notices that a group of photos comprise a sequence of events, it will helpfully produce an animated version of all of those images together. Is Google violating the IOC's rules if I were to photograph an event and happened to capture enough for Google to put together an animated GIF?

    • You'd be held responsible. Google would be considered the tool which you used rather than it's own actor and you probably agreed to TOS that puts the liability on you anyway. They might include Google in the lawsuit but only if they figured it was worth challenging real lawyers instead of anyone you can afford as a real human.

  • by aklinux ( 1318095 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @11:36PM (#52649015) Homepage
    The NFL invests thousands of dollars upgrading connectivity in stadiums hosting the Superbowl and other major NFL events.

    They've figured out that people attending these events aren't going to take anybody's broadcast revenues by sharing on social media. It's about sharing the experience with their friends and family. A picture, or video clip, that shows...I was here!! This helps build up the hype, viewership, and attendance overall.

    • by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Friday August 05, 2016 @02:04AM (#52649261)

      The Olympics charge the broadcast and cable companies a fortune for coverage rights. Comcast NBC paid $1.23 billion for Rio alone.

      In return for all that money, the IOC tries to make sure viewers HAVE to use the various channels and outlets who paid. They have to defend the licenses they sold for so much money. If people can get Olympics footage or see the games without a licenced TV partner involved, the IOC won't be able to charge as much money.

      And yeah it is all about money. The IOC could care less about the sports. It's all about license fees and rights and getting paid enormous sums to watch poor atheletes living in squalor back home try to compete. They make a lot of money off these kids.

      NBC has contracted through 2032 to carry the games so they are dropping close to 20 billion dollars on this stuff. The IOC better defend that. Or else.

      My response is to not watch any of the coverage. I used to be a rabid Olympics viewer. But it all changed after 1996 when I was much too close to the games and saw first hand it really is all about the money, not the sport and not the atheletes.

      • That's irrelevant. Someone sharing 15 seconds of blurry, shaky, low resolution[*] cellphone footage is not remotely comparable to a professional camera operator with a high end 4K camera and a lens costing 20 grand.

        NBC are paying through the nose to do the latter, and the former isn't a substitute. It's just outright stupidity on the part of the IOC.

        [*] There are not many phones that actually have resolving power at 1080p. I mean I've seen the videos and while techincally you have 1920x1080 pixels in few c

      • by moeinvt ( 851793 )

        I tend to lean toward the perspective of the OP. To a TV station, more viewers means they can sell advertising time at a higher price. Thus, viewers indirectly translate to profit for NBC. To think that the IOC needs to "protect" NBC from cell phone video assumes that NBC would lose viewers because of it.

        I find it hard to imagine that someone with access to TV, who is actually interested in the events, would forego TV coverage in favor of amateur cell phone video and animated gifs.

        I'd start from the hypo

      • The Olympics charge the broadcast and cable companies a fortune for coverage rights. Comcast NBC paid $1.23 billion for Rio alone.

        I really dislike the fact that a bunch of elites are making money off the backs of the Olympic athletes and the people watching and attending the games. Countries should contribute funding, but commercial exploitation/advertising should be prohibited.

        There should be official coverage that's available to watch for free over the Internet or other broadcast channels. Third-parties should be free to broadcast their own coverage if they want to.

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Friday August 05, 2016 @12:44AM (#52649145)

    Are they going to outright block access to the streaming apps' servers (hello VPN/Proxy!), or make everyone take out their smartphone and prove they don't have Periscope installed on it before they are let in the door?

  • Not necessarily in response to this, but because I want to, I have banned all Olympics TV coverage from my home. Not one single moment of it will appear on any TV, tablet, phone, laptop, roku, talking trout on the wall or written in blood on the walls.

    The IOC is corrupt and full of shit and the USOC is right up there with them. They can all go to hell. But meanwhile, I won't watch and I won't spend a dime on sponsored stuff. Because any business who'd sponsor this is either stupid for ignoring the crimes

    • Yep. If I see an Olympics sponsorship icon on a product, I buy something else, even if the other product is clearly inferior. Fuck the Olympics, and all those who support it. It's a festering shit-show and it has been for many an olympiad.

  • You can encode movies into ASCII animation [], also 3D movies []! I would love to see olimpic games on my old VT220 terminal...
    • I would love to see olimpic games on my old VT220 terminal...

      Your old VT220 doesn't have fast enough serial to do full-screen ASCII graphics. You're going to need a vastly faster terminal for that.

  • The IOC's olympic games aren't the only way to have sports competitions.

    It's probably too late for this year, but I'd love to see some of the athletes raise money (crowdfunding?) to move their competition somewhere else, and not have anything to do with the IOC. Just hold their competition on their own.

    For example, for the sports [] that are scheduled to take place in polluted water - raise money for those athletes to drop out of the Olympic competitions, and to move to another location with clean water. If th

  • Corrupt bunch of douchebags.


  • What good is it to pay so much money for tickets and travel to see the events if you can't even brag about it?

  • Then NBC should contract with ISIS to make sure there's a terrorist event. Nothing glues eyeballs to the TV like something blowing up and killing some athletes.

    I mean, when you're spending 1.29 Billion, what's another million or two to make sure somebody gets killed on live TV? Didn't you folks ever see the movie "Network" ?

    • Too much security to deal with. Just look for the local news vans at the Black Friday sales gatherings for nice and newsworthy that hits folks close to home (shopping)

  • ... GOOD, because who cares about the Olympics anyway? The less I hear/see about it the better... ...BAD, corporate Nazis suck.

  • "expressly prohibited"

    Brazil, as a signatory to the Berne Convention, makes this perfectly legal no matter what the IOC says.

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