vrijdag 22 juni 2012

Ravelympics banned....

O my. The whole Ravelry community is turned upside down. Every olympic year, there is a game on Ravelry: the Ravelympics. We've had two episodes of them and during the olympic festivities and games, dozens of Ravelers knit and crochet their ass off to meet goals such as the fastest sock team. I kid you not.
This year there seems to be a problem.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) states that using the name "Olympic" and the usage of the olympic logo is not permitted. On US internet sites. Thus, the term Ravelympics and the thought behind is a disgrace to them and must stop.

Here is a quote from the letter that was sent to the people behind Ravelry:
Therefore, in order to fulfill our responsibilities without the need for federal funding, Congress granted the USOC the exclusive right to use and control the commercial use of the word OLYMPIC a and any simulation or combination thereof in the United States, as well as the OLYMPIC SYMBOL.
Okay, that is clear. No fun. My first response was: "But is is only fun, not commercial!" Big Man stated that if they have the exclusive right to use these terms, and the site is American, well, nothing can be done about it...

It looks as if this is the third time that the Ravelympics have been organized, each coinciding with an Olympic year (2008, 2010, and 2012).  The name Ravelympics is clearly derived from the terms “Ravelry” (the name of your website) and OLYMPICS, making RAVELYMPICS a simulation of the mark OLYMPIC tending to falsely suggest a connection to the Olympic Movement.  Thus, the use of RAVELYMPICS is prohibited by the Act.  Knowing this, we are sure that you can appreciate the need for you to re-name the event, to something like the Ravelry Games.

 This is bit (understatement) harder to swallow:
1.  Removal of Olympic Symbols in patterns, projects, etc.   As stated before, the USOC receives no funding from the government to support this country’s Olympic athletes.  The USOC relies upon official licensing and sponsorship fees to raise the funds necessary to fulfill its mission. Therefore, the USOC reserves use of Olympic terminology and trademarks to our official sponsors, suppliers and licensees.  The patterns and projects featuring the Olympic Symbol on Ravelry.com’s website are not licensed and therefore unauthorized.  The USOC respectfully asks that all such patterns and projects be removed from your site.
For your convenience, we have listed some of the patterns featuring Olympic trademarks.  However, this list should be viewed as illustrative rather than exhaustive.  The USOC requests that all patterns involving Olympic trademarks be removed from the website.  We further request that  you rename various patterns that may not feature Olympic trademarks in the design but improperly use Olympic in the pattern name.
O my. All these patterns. If you know how much time it costs to design a pattern... I think the people who made these patterns are in tears.

And this:
We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.

I think this is just rude. How can the USOC decide for anyone what to think? What if sport is not your thing?

I think the USOC partly is right and partly is wrong. The Olympic Games are not totally theirs. In origin it is European. I do not understand why they make a fuss about a funny game that is based on the Olympic Games. It is not exclusively theirs.
In the UK it is even forbidden to use "2012" commercially this year because of the Olympic Games. How far will it go?
The USOC has gotten lots of responses and made an apology. A bit of a lousy apology, but nevertheless an apology.
We apologize for any insult and appreciate your support. We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”

Apology from USOC spokesperson

Right. What to think of this? We can only craft things to use for the team? What a load of bullcrap. Pardon my language.

And of course, the newspapers are writing about it! Luckily in a positive way.

The response by the knitters — flooding the U.S.O.C.’s e-mail, putting out thousands of posts on Twitter and commenting on its Facebook page hundreds of times over — forced the organization to apologize not once, but twice in a span of 24 hours. Some knitters said they would no longer donate to the organization. Others called for a boycott of the Games. One tried to organize a “knit-in” at the U.S.O.C.’s headquarters in Colorado Springs.

New York times writing about the Ravelympics

According to the news on Ravelry, they will probably stop using the term "Ravelympics" but I do think they will proceed with the game itself. 

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