False start?: Olympic organisers say photo uploads are allowed

Olympics organisers have taken to social media to say spectators can upload photos from this summer’s London games venues, despite guidance that has been interpreted to the contrary.

It is thought the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) is hoping to correct what it sees as misreporting by establishing a liberal interpretation of photo-upload rules as prohibiting only direct commercialisation of attendees’ pictures, in competition with contracts the likes of institutional photo wires may have.

But terms on attendees’ tickets read:

“Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally…”

And a clause in the International Olympic Committee’s separate internet guidelines says:

“Participants and other accredited persons can post still photographs taken within Olympic Venues for personal use. It is not permitted to commercialise, sell or otherwise distribute these photographs.”

Each of those instructions appears stricter than the promise Locog has stepped in to give via Twitter. The first clearly prohibits posting of attendees’ photos online, and the second appears to prohibit “distribution” outside stadia, even in lieu of commercialisation.

Organisers appear keen that attendees recognise that, in reality, spectators won’t be frisked for whether they have published mobile photos nor have their handsets confiscated as though in some dystopian movie about a totalitarian state.

The IOC is also allowing participants and spectators to author first-person blogs and microblogs.

The IOC is running an online hub aggregating athletes’ social status updates and a site curating photos of fans imitating sport stars. London 2012 also has Twitter accounts for the London 2012 Festival and mascots Wenlock and Mandeville.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user [Steve Heap].