Intellectual property enclosure and economic discourse in the 2012 London Olympic Games
Article written by Kris Erickson from the University of Glasgow, UK, and Lingling Wei from the Bournemouth University, UK.
“Special legislation associated with mega sporting events has enabled new forms of cultural enclosure, effectively commoditising aspects of cultural expression that previously remained in the public domain. In this article, the authors examine the tension between economic and political justifications for hosting the Olympics and the intellectual property enclosures that are imposed upon host nations. These enclosures extend beyond what is traditionally protected under trade mark law, to include ‘generic’ terms. Enabling market competitors to freely use generic, descriptive language is a core doctrine of trade mark law, seeking to balance monopoly IP rights with free market competition. The authors evaluate the impact of special legislative enclosures on the public interest, and argue that collective access to expression should be more carefully considered in political and economic calculations of the value of the Olympics.”
The article was published on the Media Culture & Society, April 2015, vol. 37, no. 3, 409-421.