While the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics was meant to celebrate freedom and creativity, its organizers have exercised strict copyright control. World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee appeared at the opening ceremonies of Games amid a dance about social media with a lights display of his live-tweet “This is for everyone.” Yet at the same time, the International Olympic Committee was busy censoring unauthorized videos of the ceremonies. In the offline world, a British florist was nearly sued for displaying the Olympics’ five-ring logo while the Games’ organizers have restricted vast amounts of online content linking to the official website or referencing combinations of words such as “games” and “gold.” With the help of YouTube, the Games are being live streamed to 64 countries, but users in the US still need to pay for cable or use a proxy server to access coverage. In opposition to these restrictions the file-sharing platform Pirate Bay re-labeled itself The Olympic Bay for sports fans seeking coverage, with a tagline echoing Berners-Lee’s message: “This is for everyone.”
We also discuss the challenges Twitter has faced as a primary platform for discussions online during the Games. After leaving London, we go to China, Tajikstan and beyond. Click here to read the whole thing.