In a letter sent today to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) denounced the "extravagant requirements" imposed by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) on the EBU and its members for use of their radio broadcasts of the Olympics on the internet.
In an arrangement with the EBU, the IOC asks for the internet use of radio broadcasts to be limited under certain conditions, notably with the application of geo-block denying access from outside the EBU territory, thus impeding certain users from accessing the sites. Moreover, the arrangement prohibits the use of moving pictures and restricts advertisement on web to prior authorisation from the IOC.
"The IOC is violating intellectual property rights and the right of information. Such conditions constitute a clear infringement of the WIPO treaties, the International Covenant for civil and political rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" says the IFJ.
The IFJ makes a link between these latest requirements and recent internet restrictions imposed on journalists covering the Olympic Games by the Chinese authorities. The IFJ asks the EBU to refrain from accepting the conditions imposed by the IOC and support "without ambiguity" its radio members, which in the name of freedom of information would refuse to comply with dictates imposed by the IOC and Chinese authorities.
“Play the Game for Open Journalism – Assistance and information for journalists covering the Beijing Olympics 2008 – www.playthegameforopenjournalism.org”