I might have titled this post “2012 Olympics-Bound” or something similar, but I didn’t want to be sued. Seems the UK Olympic committee has copyrighted the term “2012 Olympics” (darn, now I owe them another fiver).
This came to my attention some time ago in an article about a guy who wrote a book with the words “2012 Olympics” (oops, ka-ching) in the title (“The Incredible Lightness of Being at the 2012 Olympics,” “Winnie the Pooh and The 2012 Olympics,” or “Debbie Does the 2012 Olympics” or some such thing) and the UK Olympic Committee sued him, with predictable results, namely: he sold a lot of books, and the UK Olympic Committee looked like a bunch of muppets, especially when it came to light they had also tried to copyright “Olympic” and “2012” as well. (I would put the link to the article here but I read it in an actual magazine, you know, those things made out of paper that you can fold up and stuff in your briefcase or leave on the train so you don’t have it handy when you finally get around to writing about something you read in it.)
It’s a good job they failed in their attempt to copyright the individual parts. Imagine having to go all next year writing 2012© on your checks (sorry, cheques), or having to pony up a royalty every time you needed to describe something of Olympic proportions; it’s bad enough we can’t use “2012 Olympics” without committing a copyright infringement (dear UK Olympic Committee, Want my money? Call my lawyer!). I suppose we might have found a way around it: referring to 2012 as “not quite 2013” and Olympic as “really big, you know,” with a sly wink to let the other person know what you really mean.
But exclusive rights and violations thereof aside, I’m looking forward to The Games. Over the years, the bar has been raised higher and higher, to the point where an average country like, say, Greece, for instance, would go bankrupt holding The Games, and to raise the spectacle to new levels would require a country that is unconcerned about spending vast sums of money it doesn’t have just to impress its neighbors and is in possession of a huge reserve of people willing to work for next to nothing. But the US has hosted The Games recently so they let us take a shot at it. (And, truth be told, we didn’t really want it, we just wanted to beat the French.) So it is up to Britain to host the games in such a manner that the next country won’t have to try so hard to go one better.
I believe we are up to the task.
So when you’re watching the outdoor athletic events finals at three in the morning (while I’m watching at a more civilized time) and you notice that the landing pit for the broad jump looks an awful lot like a sandbox, and there appears to be a swing set and a jungle gym in the background and you realize they are holding the event in the playground of the Upper Beeding Primary School, just remember, the next country to get the games could be yours.