London 2012 - an interesting issue ....

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Thursday 3 May 2007 8.41pm
Hi there ...

My name is Matt and wanted to here your thoughts about an issue to do with a website I very recently developed - http://www.london2012rentmyhouse.com.

A little background.....
Sydney homeowners saw the 2000 Olympics as a profitable opportunity in terms of letting their private properties, this also helped house the millions looking for somewhere to stay.
My site addresses both these issues by providing a means to post an advert to let your property, and an easy to use search facility to search through the adverts and find a place to stay during the london 2012 games.

The BBC contacted me recently about the site and we did an article - which can be viewed at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/london/realmedia/news/londontv?size=16x9&bgc=C0C0C0&nbram=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&bbwm=1
it comes on after 10 mins.

The Olympic committee legal team have since contacted me to take the site down and have basically used bullying tactics to remove the site. I am 100% behind the 2012 Games, they know this, and my site is there to help an issue which will surely be a problem in 2012.

I would be interested to hear your comments. One of london-se1 regular users saw the report on BBC London television and contacted me urging me to seek your thoughts and comments on this.

I feel my site will be extemely effective in the long run and will help serve the local residents as well as the visitors to the city in 2012.



Matt
Thursday 3 May 2007 10.00pm
Tricky - they'll have registered 'London 2012' as a trademark, so use of it by you in a domain name would probably constitute a breach. And it doesn't matter whether you use the logo or not - they're bound to have registered the two words 'London 2012' on their own as a mark.

I'm guessing they're not actually that fussed about you, but it's mandatory for a trademark owner to enforce their mark, otherwise they risk losing it if a defendant can show that they didn't bother to chase EVERYONE they catch using their mark without permission. That's the reason why Disney have to go after 12 year old girls who breach their trademark - they don't really want to, and they certainly don't want the bad publicity it brings, but they must demonstrate that they enforce their mark.

So, in short, they'll send you a 'cease and desist' letter but they probably wouldn't go further than that, particularly as you probably aren't costing them money (e.g. they're not losing money by way of not being able to run their own house/flat rental business).

I have some experience in this area, as I once naively registered the domain name 'rothschildsbank.com' for one of my clients (a well known competitor of that bank), and spent the next few months dealing with Rothschilds' lawyers while my customer skulked in the undergrowth (while, fortunately, paying all the legal bills).


So you can fight it if you want, but frankly you'd probably do better thinking of another domain name and writing the website copy more craftily!
Thursday 3 May 2007 10.45pm
Hi Mdecker ...

Thanks for your comments there.

So in your experience this kind of thing can easily happen. When I registered the domain I felt it was a fantastic name for my site to go with the idea.

In fact, I even emailed london2012 about my site before the TV coverage to see what they thought!. They didnt contact me .... until just before the BBC were broadcast my report. Interesting timing!.

Anyway - I have already registerred afew new domain names. The idea will still stand - but like you said some small content changes maybe required ... along with the site name. I will wait abit longer, as the BBC report has made them take a closer look at the use of london2012.

I just hope people like the website ... find it helpful and easy to use. Any comments would be appreciated.

Matt
Thursday 3 May 2007 10.50pm
The site looks fine, and it seems like a really good idea - maybe they'd licence you to use their trademark if you put a plan together or partnered with someone? Then you'd be the official portal for those wanting to rent homes during that period!

Good luck
Friday 4 May 2007 1.49am
The rules about the use of the Olympic marks have been made clear on the London 2012 website for some time now.No one is allowed to claim to have connection with the Olympics without permission.
I even think I may be breaking the law by wearing my candidate city fleece jacket,
But it isn't a trivial mater ,the rules have to be there otherwise the official sponsors of the games wouldn't pay to use branding that every one else could use for nothing.
Friday 4 May 2007 5.53pm
mickysalt wrote:
it isn't a trivial mater ,the rules have to be there otherwise the official sponsors of the games wouldn't pay to use branding that every one else could use for nothing.

Hi Mattp

i think it's great that you're already thinking ahead with entrepreneurial plans, but mickysalt has got it spot on. The sponsorship of the games is essentially where the really big money will come from to enable the Games to happen at all (and no, please don't use this as an opportunity to bludgeon me with the "ever spiralling costs to the public purse" which never seems to be out of the headlines).

If the brand is seen to be "diluted" and used randomly for free, then the likes of Mac... Coc.... & Powerg... etc won't shell out their marketing budgets for the privilege of being associated with the Olympics.
Saturday 5 May 2007 9.20am
Hi Chustler ..

Thanks for your reply and comments ...

I am actually supporting the games and the administration of the games by facilitating the accommodation of millions of visitors in 2012. This is anticipated to be a real problem, that they are trying to resolve.

I hope my site can play an important role in solving this poblem and the olympic authorities will appreciate this......
Tuesday 8 May 2007 10.31am
Well, in that case you'd probably be better off discussing this with the Olympic authorities, rather than promoting your website, which as you point out is currently probably in breach of someone else's trademark rights, on here.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 8 May 2007 12.54pm
How do all the people who rent out their houses for wimbledon fortnight advertise them?
or is wimbledon tennis not a trade mark in the same way as 2012?
Tuesday 8 May 2007 1.08pm
I expect they don't do it through a website which makes unauthorised use of the Wimbledon trademark.

...if you press it, they will come.
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