Today the US Olympic committee sent a cease and desist letter to Ravelry claiming that the Ravelympics violates their copyright. The letter went so far as to say that knitting “denigrated” the Olympics. Denigrated? Really? The USOC must have received one too many ill-fitting, ugly and itchy sweaters from their grandmas as children.
I know I’m late to the party here since the knitting community apparently has been fuming over this long enough for the USOC to issue two different apologies – the first of which only made things worse when it suggested that knitters show their support by sending knitted freebies their way. Right, like that was going to happen.
Anyway, I’m confused by this bonehead move for two reasons.
First of all, why would you want to piss off a group of highly socially connected people who are clearly huge fans of the Olympics? Who over there thought that was a good idea? Why not reach out and harness their power for some great folksy look-at-how-the-Olympics-are-so-connected-to-the-common-man-YAY-AMERICA-ROCKS publicity? Commission some Olympic-themed yarnbombs for crissakes! What a wasted opportunity.
Second, I thought the ancient Greeks invented the Olympics a couple thousand years ago? And so wouldn’t that mean that the Olympics passed into the public domain, oh, at least a millennium ago? So how can USOC hold a copyright so tight that it can be violated by a silly mashup word like Ravelympics?
Since it’s not a Trainknitting post without some pictures, here are some Olympic-inspired knits. You know, the stuff the USOC is grumbling about for god knows what reason. Photos all link back to their sources, some with patterns.