Digital

Olympic organisers shut down “Space hijackers” protest Twitter account

Index on Censorship has learned that the Twitter account of protest group Space Hijackers has been suspended following a complaint by the organisers of the London Olympics.

The anti-capitalists, who have styled themselves as the Official Protesters of the London 2012 Olympic Games, received notification from Twitter in an email this morning, which stated:

Hello,

We have received reports from the trademark holder, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd, that your account, @spacehijackers, is using a trademark in a way that could be confusing or misleading with regard to a brand affiliation. Your account has been temporarily suspended due to violation of our trademark policy.

 

(click image for full email)

The Space Hijackers had been using an altered version of the 2012 logo on their site and their Twitter page Space Hijackers Olympic Logo

The Olympic organisers are notoriously prickly about branding, but also about protest, and laws introduced after London won the right to host this years games could potentially place restrictions on protest for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics.

It could be argued that the logo in itself was a justifiable reason for the suspension: but you have to seriously ask: is anyone actually going to confuse the Space Hijackers account for an official Olympic account? This should surely be the basis of a claim for trademark infringement.

It is doubtful that Space Hijackers are actually going to bring down the International Olympic Committee and capitalism along with it (not through Twitter at least). One can only conclude that this is an act of petty, vindictive censorship, hardly in the spirit of plurality and inclusiveness the Olympics is supposed to promote.

SIGN UP HERE FOR INDEX’S FREE EVENT “IS SPORT ABOVE HUMAN RIGHTS?”, Tuesday 19 June

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Email
  • RSS

21 Comments

  1. Posted 23May12 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Charlie Brooker humorously describes himself as the “Official tweeter of the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

    He obviously isn’t, but is claiming that he is for the purposes of comedy. Will he face a similar takedown notice, or will the LOCOG selectively enforce their broad-reaching rights against those whose views they don’t particularly like?

  2. Posted 23May12 at 11:17 am | Permalink
    Jess

    https://twitter.com/#!/London20l2

    #iamspartacus is a great idea, also a protest for the sake of protest at the games “down with this sort of thing” etc

  3. Posted 23May12 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
    Tasman

    The logo was no doubt used with the intention that LOCOG identified i.e. to mislead hence why use it.
    Get a job and move out of your parents house.

  4. Posted 23May12 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
    Steve

    @Rob H — Charlie Brooker isn’t using the logo though.
    Whilst I agree that much of this is LOCOG employing some heavy-handed dick-swinging; I also understand that their branding concerns are probably more to do with international visitors for whom English is not their first language. To them visual communication is vital in knowing that what they’re viewing is official Olympics stuff — especially when trying to buy tickets!

  5. Posted 23May12 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
    Stuart B

    “To them visual communication is vital in knowing that what they’re viewing is official Olympics stuff ”

    In other words if you are going to get turned over on costs at least make sure it’s an official LOCOG turnover .

  6. Posted 23May12 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
    Tom

    “is anyone actually going to confuse the Space Hijackers account for an official Olympic account?”

    Yes, all they did was change the colouring. It’s quite common to have several subtly different official versions of the same logo for different purposes and departments – someone less familiar with 2012 Olympics branding might easily think this red and black version is official.

  7. Posted 23May12 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
    Bob

    Just want to say that the Olympics famously come down on anyone using the name or logo including coffee shops in the middle of Africa – so to them they’ve found a legitimate way to temporarily get rid of this Twitter account. Change the logo and you’re sorted!

  8. Posted 23May12 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
    Rudi

    I think Locog have completely missed the point here. I just smacks of their goliath attitude to the david’s of this world. Fair enough if you want to protect your trademarks from rival companies profiting from them. But stamping down on people like the Space Hijackers and banning school fete’s from celebrating the olympics just highlights the celebration of money instead of sport that the olympics has become.

    Let the old ladies put olympic logo icing on their cakes, it shouldn’t matter, you don’t need legal teams and trademark law to stamp that out.

    This is just high handed corporate law being slammed down on little people. I hope twitter see sense and give them their account back, and I hope this all blows up in the IOC and Locog’s face.

  9. Posted 23May12 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
    Siôn Jones

    I’m surprised LogCock have not themselves been sued by the Simpsons, because the one on the right (in black) is obviously Lisa Simpson, on her knees, performing a sexual act on someone (possibly sebARSEtian Coe) on the left.

  10. Posted 24May12 at 7:26 am | Permalink
    Roly

    Yawn. Suspending a Twitter account is hardly OTT! They’ve not been arrested for crying out loud. Quite free to keep peddling where whinging from another account without the ripped off logo.

  11. Posted 24May12 at 8:03 am | Permalink
    Bob

    I see Emperor Booker – Lord of the Hipster has joined in. Should be interesting.

  12. Posted 24May12 at 8:04 am | Permalink
    Bob

    Bugger – I meant Emperor Brooker – gosh darn this silly ibone.

  13. Posted 24May12 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    its starnge
    every things confusing now,logo rights come in between
    actually organisers wanna stop it but trying to bring copyrights legal issue

    check the youtube video

    http://youtu.be/DonGpAevGHk

  14. Posted 24May12 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
    Spoox

    Do people really need figure if they are using the official 2012 games toothbrush/ toilet cleaner/ toenail clipper or if they are accidently reading spacejackers tweets because of evil logo usage? erm ..

    Will people really be confused as to whether space hijackers are selling official tickets or other official stuff? erm

    What did this accomplish? Well I changed my avatr to the 2012 logo and followed space hijackers :)

    LCOG learn how the web works, and especially what ‘footbullet’ means!

  15. Posted 24May12 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Not supporting the Olympics is an offence against patriotism punishable since at least 1066 with imprisonment in the Tower of London.

  16. Posted 16Jul12 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    We in America are more concerned with the censor named Darcy Smith, who silences Facebooks and “the Twitter.”
    http://youtu.be/x_UV2Mao2-E

  17. Posted 01Aug12 at 11:34 am | Permalink
    Faidit

    It’s London Hellympics

  18. Posted 23Oct12 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I was very pleased to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for ones
    time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to check out new stuff on
    your blog.

  19. Posted 06Feb13 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for finally writing about >Olympic organisers shut down

  20. Posted 07May13 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Hey there, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to
    give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

  21. Posted 02Oct13 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I love what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever
    work and reporting! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated
    you guys to blogroll.

27 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Olympic organisers shut down “Space hijackers” protest Twitter account [...]

  2. [...] Olympic organisers shut down “Space hijackers” protest Twitter account >> Index on… The Space Hijackers had been using an altered version of the 2012 logo on their site and their Twitter page. [...]

  3. [...] Olympic organisers shut down “Space hijackers” protest Twitter account | THE FREE SPEECH BLOG. This entry was posted in Web Finds. Bookmark the permalink. ← Smartphone hijacking vulnerability affects AT [...]

  4. [...] week, protest group the Space Hijackers were suspended from Twitter after using Olympic trademarks as part of their satirical attacks on the [...]

  5. [...] Dächern, nicht zugelassene Chips auf dem Olympia-Gelände sind verboten, Protest wird bestraft, Twitter-Accounts werden zensiert. Aber wir müssen zugeben, dass wir die Versuche der olympischen [...]

  6. [...] zugelassene Chips Pommes frites auf dem Olympia-Gelände sind verboten, Protest wird bestraft, Twitter-Accounts werden zensiert. Aber wir müssen zugeben, dass wir die Versuche der olympischen [...]

  7. [...] launchers on rooftops, non-approved chips banned from the Olympic site, protest threatened, Twitter accounts censored. But we must admit we hadn’t noticed the Olympic organisers attempts to change the way the entire [...]

  8. [...] London 2012:  What?!? Now we’re not even allowed to link to the Olympics website?  Olympic organisers shut down “Space hijackers” protest Twitter account  In a league of its own  Plus read more on Sport v human rights in Index on Censorship [...]

  9. [...] The ultimate bad sport- What?!? Now we’re not even allowed to link to the Olympics website?- Olympic organisers shut down “Space hijackers” protest Twitter account- In a league of its own Plus read more on Sport v human rights in Index on Censorship [...]

  10. [...] under OL. Listen over ting man ikke får ha med seg inn på områdene (Se et stykke ned på siden) Protesttwitterkontoer blir stengt ned av LOCOG. Man får visst lov til å kjøpe Chips allikevel, etter at McDonald’s ga de dispensasjon. [...]

  11. [...] space to oppose the Olympics has been restricted, with at least one case of a Twitter account being shut down. In asking ‘Corporate Olympics or peoples’ Olympics?’ it’s not hard to answer that [...]

  12. [...] http://blog.indexoncensorship.org/2012/05/23/olympic-organisers-shut-down-space-hijackers-protest-tw… [...]

  13. [...] Und ja, mal abgesehen von weniger erfreulichen Nachrichten wie dem Link-Embargo der Homepage, der Twitter-Zensur, Raketenwerfern auf Hausdächern und ein paar anderen zweifelhaften Umständen freuen wir uns doch [...]

  14. [...] dérapage vers la censure, le CIO l’a sans doute déjà allègrement franchi. Le blog anglais Free Speech rapporte que les comptes Twitter d’activistes protestant contre la tenue des Jeux à Londres ont [...]

  15. [...] dérapage vers la censure, le CIO l’a sans doute déjà allègrement franchi. Le blog anglais Free Speech rapporte que les comptes Twitter d’activistes protestant contre la tenue des jeux à Londres ont [...]

  16. [...] Index on Censorship reports that the Twitter accounts of activists protesting the Games taking place in London have been [...]

  17. [...] towards censorship; the IOC’s already done that. The English blog Free Speech reports that the Twitter accounts of activists protesting against the way the games are managed were [...]

  18. [...] τη καρδία, τη διαφάνεια απέναντι από τη λογοκρισία. Το Αγγλικό blog Free Speech αναφέρει πως οι λογαριασμοί twitter των ακτιβιστών που [...]

  19. [...] τη καρδία, τη διαφάνεια απέναντι από τη λογοκρισία. Το Αγγλικό blog Free Speech αναφέρει πως οι λογαριασμοί twitter των ακτιβιστών που [...]

  20. [...] τη καρδία, τη διαφάνεια απέναντι από τη λογοκρισία. Το Αγγλικό blog Free Speech αναφέρει πως οι λογαριασμοί twitter των ακτιβιστών που [...]

  21. [...] τη καρδία, τη διαφάνεια απέναντι από τη λογοκρισία. Το Αγγλικό blog Free Speech αναφέρει πως οι λογαριασμοί twitter των ακτιβιστών που [...]

  22. [...] τη καρδία, τη διαφάνεια απέναντι από τη λογοκρισία. Το Αγγλικό blog Free Speech αναφέρει πως οι λογαριασμοί twitter των ακτιβιστών που [...]

  23. [...] dérapage vers la censure, le CIO l’a sans doute déjà allègrement franchi. Le blog anglais Free Speech rapporte que les comptes Twitter d’activistes protestant contre la tenue des jeux à Londres ont [...]

  24. [...] αμφιβολίες, ελαφρά τη καρδία,  προς τη λογοκρισία. Το Αγγλικό blog Free Speech αναφέρει πως οι λογαριασμοί twitter των ακτιβιστών που [...]

  25. [...] des marques. Le dérapage vers la censure, le CIO l’a sans doute déjà allègrement franchi. Le blog anglais Free Speech rapporte que les comptes Twitter d’activistes protestant contre la tenue des jeux à Londres ont [...]

  26. [...] verso la censura, il Comitato Olimpico Internazione l’ha già senza dubbio iniziato. Il blog inglese Free Speech denuncia che gli accounts Twitter di attivisti protestanti contro la tenuta dei giochi a Londra [...]

  27. [...] dérapage vers la censure, le CIO l’a sans doute déjà allègrement franchi. Le blog anglais Free Speech rapporte que les comptes Twitter d’activistes protestant contre la tenue des jeux à Londres [...]