Tibetans all over the world have been protesting Chinese policies and demanding autonomy for themselves. As part of these protests, a candle light vigil was held in Manhattan, last Thursday night, near the Chinese Consulate, during which images of Chinese atrocities were projected. Amongst these images, was the famous Olympic logo. The Olympic rings were then shown turning into handcuffs. These images, were video recorded and put up on YouTube.
The use of the Olympic symbol upset the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which registered a complaint under the DMCA law, alleging copyright infringement under intellectual property rights.
What most likely upset the IOC was the transition of the Olympic rings into the handcuffs. While the Olympics have always been a platform to depict equal rights, freedom and sportsmanship, the handcuffs signify just the reverse.
In light of this complaint, YouTube was left with no choice but to remove the offending video from their site.
Supporters of Free Tibet have retaliated by criticising the IOC, stating that this is a case of unjustified censorship, as the video in question is absolutely legal and non-infringing.
The IOC, in reply, has stated that the video was taken down by ‘automated copyright protection software‘, which has been installed to prevent the illegal uploading of Olympic content.
The video, however, has already found its way to other sites, allowing users to continue viewing the clip:
Ensuring that the 2008 Olympic games do not turn into a political fiasco is in the best interests of the IOC and the Chinese government. They have both been working hard to squash any negative publicity around the events, rather unsuccessfully, and often to a ridiculous extent, such as by denying the presence of obviously high levels of pollution near the Olympic venues.