Friday, February 15, 2008

IOC: Olympic athletes can blog if they follow rules

GENEVA (AP) — Let the blogging begin.

The IOC has given athletes the right to blog at the Beijing
Games this summer, a first for the Olympics, as long as they follow
the many rules it set to protect copyright agreements, confidential
information and security.

Blogging is a “legitimate form of personal expression,” the
International Olympic Committee said.

The IOC said blogs by athletes “should take the form of a diary
or journal” and should not contain any interviews with other
competitors at the Games. They also should not write about other

“It is required that, when accredited persons at the games post
any Olympic content, it be confined solely to their own personal
Olympic-related experience,” the IOC said.

The debate over blogging has been a difficult one for the IOC,
which has been concerned that the online journals might infringe on
copyright agreements or release confidential information during the
Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics.

Bloggers are prevented from posting audio clips or videos of
“any Olympic events, including sporting action, opening, closing
and medal ceremonies or other activities which occur within any
zone which requires an Olympic identity and accreditation card (or
ticket) for entry.”

Still pictures are allowed as long as they do not show Olympic
events. Athletes must obtain the consent of their competitors if
they wish to photograph them.

Also, athletes cannot use their blogs for commercial gain.

“No advertising and/or sponsoring may be visible on screen at
the same time as Olympic content,” the IOC said.

The IOC said accredited participants in the Olympics also
“should not disclose any information ... which may compromise the
security, staging and organization of the games.” The same rule
applies for the security of athletes’ teams.

Domain names for blogs should not include any word similar to
“Olympic” or “Olympics.” Bloggers are, however, urged to link
their blogs to official Olympic Web sites.

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