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Olympic Web Site Features Pirated Content 235

Posted by kdawson
from the do-as-I-say dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Despite all the emphasis on protecting Olympic copyrights in China this year, the official web site of the Beijing Olympics features a Flash game that is a blatant copy of one of the games developed at The Pencil Farm. Compare the game on the Olympic site with 'Snow Day' at The Pencil Farm."
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Olympic Web Site Features Pirated Content

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  • by Jack Malmostoso (899729) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @04:01AM (#22691332)
    These are Summer Olympics, that game is called "Snow Day". How could it be a copy?
  • Yawn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel@NoSpam.bcgreen.com> on Sunday March 09, 2008 @04:06AM (#22691346) Homepage Journal
    Knockoffs from China... What next? Lies from the WhiteHouse?
  • by gijoel (628142) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @04:07AM (#22691350)
    Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery.
  • by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @04:11AM (#22691364)
    Coca Cola did the same last year by ripping off "Ninja" [7secondsoflove.com] by Joel Feitch (the guy behind Rathergood.com [rathergood.com])

    Two weeks later it was reported that Joel Feitch got well compensated for it (exact amounts were not disclosed as part of the agreement).

    Read all about it here [robmanuel.com], with accompanied footage.
  • by Ma8thew (861741) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @04:38AM (#22691450)
    Why is the character in the Chinese version 'Fighting winter' by making the clouds snow?
  • by reidconti (219106) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @04:47AM (#22691478)
    Seriously, can noone else see this game as a hilariously ironic commentary on China's futile attempts to lower pollution in order to have blue skies for the Olympics?

    Of course this: http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8874472 [economist.com]Economist article seems to not be loading right now, but they even have a blue sky monitoring scale which counts days without brutal amounts of smog, and are trying to figure out if they can somehow control the weather.
  • by Harold Halloway (1047486) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @04:55AM (#22691504)
    A friend of my father-in-law's owned for many years a hotel in France called 'Hotel d'Olympique'. He still owns the hotel but it is no longer called that as he was sent a 'cease and desist'-type letter by the IOC.

    FWIW I am not interested in the Beijing Olympics. Any lingering interest in the event has been soured by the appalling way that Chinese citizens have been treated by their government and, by extension, the IOC. No sports event in the world is worth evicting, beating, imprisoning and killing your own citizens for.
  • by Riturno (671917) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @05:16AM (#22691550)
    This is especially ironic since many of the Olympic Committees sue anyone using the word 'Olympic' or press governments for legislation protecting their precious name. For instance a few link samples:
    US: http://www.dvorak.org/blog/?p=15360 [dvorak.org]
    CA: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/1777/125/ [michaelgeist.ca]
    UK: http://blogs.reuters.com/uknews/2008/02/06/olympic-tussle-over-a-name/ [reuters.com]
    Given the IOC and each local Olympic committee's approach trademark ownership, they should have no problem removing the game.
    This is unlikely because, they will not treat other's work the same as they want theirs enforces. Hypocrisy at its finest.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sconeu (64226)
      Dear Slashdot,

      Please note that we are a major corporation or something. Laws exist to protect *OUR* copyrights and trademarks. As a major entity, we are allowed to do whatever the hell we want.

      Thank you,

      The IOC

  • It's OK for Scrabulous to essentially copy Scrabble because you can't copyright or patent game rules, but it's not OK to copy this game?
    • by One Childish N00b (780549) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @06:22AM (#22691712) Homepage
      It's OK for Scrabulous to essentially copy Scrabble because you can't copyright or patent game rules, but it's not OK to copy this game?

      You are looking at two different uses of the word 'copy', or rather, at two different levels of copying. Scrabulous copies the rules of Scrabble in a game developed by different people, and if there was a lawsuit for every internet game that - to put it mildly - took a great deal of inspiration from another, none of us would be able to move for the boxes full of litigation papers. This, on the other hand, is different, because it copies actual code and graphics from the original. You cannot legally protect game rules, but you can legally protect code and artwork.

      There is also an irony issue here, in that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has always gone after people even vaguely infringing *it's* copyright with all the teeth-baring viciousness of a rabid attack dog, so to have a website associated with them involved in blatant copyright infringement is more than a little amusing, but that takes a back seat to the difference between the actual legal issues of the two.
      • by Dirtside (91468)
        Actually, the difference is that game rules and mechanics are not copyrightable. The particular text that explains them could be (it is writing, after all) but the actual rules themselves are not.
    • Well, considering that they didn't just copy the game rules but lifted assets from this guy's game wholesale, I don't think it's the same situation. When you take into account the Olympic Committee's zealous protection of their intellectual property by threatening small businesses who capitalise on the 'Olympic spirit', it makes it all the more infuriating.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DrEldarion (114072)
      Don't forget that copyright is ridiculous when it applies to the RIAA and MPAA, but it's incredibly important when it applies to flash games and the GPL.

      This isn't the first set of blatant hypocrisy around these parts.
      • by Zorque (894011)
        Yeah, pretty much. VISTA HAS NO DRIVERS AND NOTHING WORKS *waits 5 months for wireless drivers* AT LEAST I DIDN'T FUEL THE KKKORPORATE MICRO$CAM MACHINE
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Haeleth (414428)

        This isn't the first set of blatant hypocrisy around these parts.

        Yeah, because Slashdot is of course a single entity with a single opinion on every subject, not a huge and diverse community whose members hold a wide range of opinions, and indeed disagree so strongly with one another that they waste vast amounts of their time on endless flame wars.

        You can make accusations of hypocrisy when you have collected some statistics that show that the majority of Slashdot posters hold both the contradictory views you

      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @10:59AM (#22692726)
        Don't forget that copyright is ridiculous when it applies to the RIAA and MPAA, but it's incredibly important when it applies to flash games and the GPL. This isn't the first set of blatant hypocrisy around these parts.

        Please name the posters that have demonstrated this hypocrisy. Fiding posts FROM DIFFERENT PEOPLE that are inconsistent is not unexpected when there are upwards of one million members.

      • by DarkOx (621550)
        No its still ridiculous, but its even more ridiculous that because you happen to be a billion dollar + business interest the rules don't apply to you. If the IOC can sue you and I for millions just because we use the name Olmpic on something even when its hardly trade mark infringment because nobody would confuse it with anything related to the IOC. Then yea if they copy your flash game you should get millions for it.

        I think its stupid that we live in a world where downloading a song lands you 100K in lea
      • by skeeto (1138903)
        Copyright infringement in P2P is in the user's interest. Protecting copyleft works is in the user's interest. I don't see any contradiction here.

        Besides, as is said so many times: there many different people that post here with a diverse range of views.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323)
        Don't forget that copyright is ridiculous when it applies to the RIAA and MPAA, but it's incredibly important when it applies to flash games and the GPL.

        Right, because you can point me to a story where:

        * The FSF has lobbied for laws tightening copyright laws or introducing new ones like the DMCA.

        * A GPL copyright holder has sued individuals for distributing a GPL piece of software without source code over p2p (preferably for billions of dollars) (as opposed to a commercial company violating the GPL).

        * A lin
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by lorenlal (164133)
        1) With the GPL - you will provide the source code so that others may customize the product, and send changes back the creator so the product can be improved.

        You CAN'T take the source code, rip out the author's information and publish it as entirely your own.

        2) The RIAA and MPAA have copyrights, and I'll acknowledge them. The problem I have with the AAs is the fact that they unfairly litigate and punish people using a broken law. Then they try to tell me that I can't copy my CD to my iPod without buying t
      • Right, because aside from you, Slashdot is one giant person, so when it has two conflicting thoughts, it is hypocritical.
      • Don't forget that copyright is ridiculous when it applies to the RIAA and MPAA, but it's incredibly important when it applies to flash games and the GPL.

        If there were no copyright, copyleft wouldn't be necessary. If somebody were to try to take a Free program proprietary in a world without copyright, someone else would disassemble it, comment it, and post it to some comp.sources group.

        But the record industry is a different matter entirely. Music publishers have successfully sued people for accidentally copying a couple bars from a proprietary song into their own songs. The precedent set by cases such as Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music and Three

      • by laffer1 (701823)
        I see your point, but I think most people are thinking fair is fair. If big companies and organizations can ruin people's lives over copyrighted works, individuals should be able to hurt them too. I don't think 100,000 dollars is enough. Since the average person doesn't have 100,000 in a settlement, the value should be a number higher than the IOC can afford to pay. Most people on slashdot love sliding scales based on the infringement. Since we'll never see that, how about based on the size of the targ
    • by TheSpoom (715771) *
      If it were legal to copyright rules and other such ideas, I could form a business made solely off of copyrighting rules and ideas that have not actually been implemented and suing those that do implement them. Sort of a patent troll on a much, much grander scale.
    • by cgenman (325138)
      It's OK for Scrabulous to essentially copy Scrabble because you can't copyright or patent game rules, but it's not OK to copy this game?

      Actually, Scrabulous is likely to be removed soon [news.com]. You do have some degree of copyright protection over game rules, and people do patent the damned things all the time. See also: KC Munchkin.
  • Wow... seventy-nine posts, most of which attempt to debate the subtleties of Chinese copyright law, something about which none of the posters know anything.

    Now we know why the Chinese government built the Great Firewall...
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *
      I was expecting someone to come up with the fact that Olympic official website of NBC (which runs in free economy) will force you to run Windows or OS X (if Silverlight 2 isn't late!) if you want to see the videos. Instead it is the cold war all over again along with needless defence of their country by their citizens.

      Lets say you are a happy Ubuntu user but somehow interested in Olympic content. As Icaza (future author of future clone) already started whining, the only way to watch videos from official sit
    • Wow... seventy-nine posts, most of which attempt to debate the subtleties of Chinese copyright law, something about which none of the posters know anything.

      We do know that the People's Republic of China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 [wto.org]. This means that Chinese copyright law has to conform to the restrictions of TRIPS [wikipedia.org].

  • ...pirates have no respect for copyright. The holders of copyrights apparently only respect their own.

    Despite all the emphasis on protecting Olympic copyrights in China this year, the official web site of the Beijing Olympics features a Flash game that is a blatant copy of one of the games developed at The Pencil Farm.

    They demand that others respect their copyrights and then turn around violate others. How many times have we seen stories where this happened? I've lost count.

  • Nevermind the vagueries of copyright law and its applicability to Chinese-hosted site, what matters is that this is likely to be a visible loss of face for the ROC Olympic Committee. Given the Chinese proclivity to punish moral crimes on a spectrum that ranges from extreme public humiliation to summary execution, I'm curious if the I-only-reused-16% developer will have 16% of his/her body mass removed for reuse after the execution [usatoday.com] van [theage.com.au] comes for a visit?
  • If you want some schadenfreude check out these [economist.com] articles [bbc.co.uk] where that same proclivity for cheating cost the government billions due to tax deductions from faked business receipts.

    The sad thing for China is that unless this culture changes, it's going to be a very long time before products of any kind coming from there will be accepted by the rest of the world with the same kind of lax inspection standards ones from the West enjoy. Thus, on a per-capita basis, China will never catch up.

    You reap the whirlwind.
  • by Chysn (898420) on Sunday March 09, 2008 @09:14AM (#22692238)
    ...it looks like the Sailing game (http://en.beijing2008.cn/funpage/game/sailing/index.shtml) is a ripoff of a game called Arctic Blue on orisinal.com (http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/g3/arctic.htm)

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