Olympics bans links to its site if you're 'derogatory'

The rules of the London 2012 Olympics site seem to be somewhat odd, if not inanely unenforceable, if not otherwise objectionable.

That is a beautifully expressive logo. London2012.com Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The International Olympic Committee has always been a highly progressive organization.

Why, it allowed women into its bosom as early as 1981.

So who can be surprised that the Olympic movement has continued along its headlong path toward untrammeled world freedom?

I am grateful to the Index on Censorship, which has quickly discovered something higher and stronger in the area of joyous freedom than many might have imagined possible.

For, in the Terms of Use of the London 2012 Olympics Web site, there exists a clause that truly has fearsome claws.

For it reads:

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 unauthorized association between an organization, business, goods, or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organizations (or our or their activities, products, or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise objectionable manner.

It seems, therefore, that you can send people to the London Olympics site only if you don't say anything horrible, terrible, demeaning, or just plain amusing (to you and your friends, at least).

Who, indeed, is to decide what is derogatory?

Is declaring that the Olympic movement has sometimes been depressingly associated with corruption, drug-taking, and incompetence derogatory? Is it even otherwise objectionable? Or is it merely informative?

Moreover, how will this interesting -- and, some might imagine, insane -- rule be enforced?

Will those who link to the site but make a mean joke about Olympic clean and jerkers receive a visit from men in dark coats?

Will they be held down by unknown persons while Usain Bolt digs his spikes into their cheekbones?

Will they have a bicycle pump inserted into them, be summarily inflated and turned into a soft landing-mattress for the pole vaulters?

Please, I neither wish to be derogatory nor remotely objectionable. This is, in any case, impossible when I'm so confused.

But doesn't the existence of such a clause actually encourage people to link to the London Olympics site and offer remarks that are a triple jump short of flattery?

 

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