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U.S. Olympic Committee goes after knitting group for using the word 'Ravelympic'

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  • U.S. Olympic Committee goes after knitting group for using the word 'Ravelympic'

    Outside the Beltway: Social Network Dedicated To Knitting Runs Up Against The U.S. Olympic Committee
    Doug Mataconis · Thursday, June 21, 2012
    You’ve probably never heard of a social network called Ravelry, mostly because unlike other social networks its not open to the public. More importantly, though, it’s dedicated to specified topic because it’s a social network for people interested in knitting, sewing, and related crafts. You can guess that the demographics of this site are far different from what you’d find on Facebook and Twitter, and you’d think that a bunch of (mostly) ladies who knit probably aren’t going to get in too much trouble. Well, you’d be wrong on that last point, because they’ve gotten themselves into a dispute with the United States Olympic Committee:
    It’s worth taking a look at a portion the cease and desist letter itself, because it points out just how powerful the Intellectual Property laws are:

    Dear Mr. Forbes,

    In March 14, 2011, my colleague, Carol Gross, corresponded with your attorney, Craig Selmach [sic], in regard to a pin listed as the “2010 Ravelympic Badge of Glory.” At that time, she explained that the use of RAVELYMPIC infringed upon the USOC’s intellectual property rights, and you kindly removed the pin from the website. I was hoping to close our file on this matter, but upon further review of your website, I found more infringing content...

    It's worth reading the comments since there is discussion about the distinctions between the USOC's special ownership of the word 'Olympic' and common trademarks.

    I agree with the BTB author that this is the silliest part of the USOC letter:
    We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
    Besides being silly, it insults skilled artisans.
    Never forget Excalibur.
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed
    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)