5 August 2021CopyrightRory O'Neill

IOC: athletes can’t share Olympic videos without permission

Athletes are barred from sharing unlicensed videos of the Olympic Games on social media platforms, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reiterated.

The statement came after Instagram temporarily suspended Jamaican gold medal winner Elaine Thompson-Herah shared footage of her celebrating her victories in the 100m and 200m sprints.

“I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympics because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in two days,” Thompson-Herah confirmed on Twitter.

While her Instagram account has since been restored, the IOC has doubled down on its position that sharing videos of the games on social media is not permitted under its exclusive broadcasting contracts.

“Rights Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) have the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympic Games,” the IOC told Reuters.

“This includes distribution on social media, where athletes are invited to share the content provided by the RHBs on their accounts but cannot post competition content natively. Should that occur, the removal of such content from social media platforms happens automatically.

The IOC claims the revenue it generates from broadcasting deals allows it to reinvest funds into the sports featured at the games.

“The income from the sales of the broadcasting rights is an important element in the financing of the Olympic movement and helps building the Olympic stage on which athletes can shine,” the IOC statement said.

“The IOC redistributes more than 90% of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of $3.4m goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.”

The 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Summer Games (currently being held in Tokyo) have earned the IOC $4 billion in broadcasting deals.

Piracy has been a key concern for the broadcasting partners who have invested significant funds in securing exclusive rights to show the games.

Last month, Sony obtained a preemptive injunction from the Delhi High Court to block an extensive list of pirate sites and any ‘mirror’ sites that emerged.

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23 July 2021   The Delhi High Court has granted Sony Pictures a pre-emptive blocking order aimed at cutting off access to pirate websites ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
22 March 2021   Sports rights owners are hailing new laws in France which could give them the upper hand in their fight against online pirates.