My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on Bill C-47, the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act, which I think is better characterized as the Olympic Corporate Sponsor Protection Act. The column synthesizes my comments from two earlier postings on the bill (here and here), namely that […]
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Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 19, 2007 as Bill C-47 Not in the Spirit of Olympics The 2010 Vancouver-Whistler Winter Olympics are still three years away, however over the next few weeks the Games will take centre stage in the House of Commons. Earlier this month, the Government […]
Several people have written to note the curious timing of the introduction Bill C-47, the Olympics marks bill (perhaps better referred to as the Olympic Corporate Sponsor Protection Act). The approach was unusual on several counts. First, the bill was introduced toward the end of the day on Friday after […]
With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games scheduled for Vancouver, the Canadian Olympic Committee has set the goal of "owning the podium." Today the Olympic Committee took the first step toward another form of ownership – language. Industry Minister Maxime Bernier introduced Bill C-47, the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act, legislation that provides the Vancouver Olympic organizers with remarkable power over the language and symbols associated with the Olympics. The legislation is supposedly intended to deal with ambush marketing, which are attempts by businesses to associate themselves with the Olympics without becoming official sponsors. Similar legislation has been introduced in other countries that have hosted the Olympics, though there are questions about the effectiveness of the approach.
While it is understandable that the Olympic organizers want to maximize the marketing potential of the games, the bill raises several concerns.