Name Change For Rockaway Olympics
With the possibility of a lawsuit for trademark infringement looming in the future and the increasing chance that the New York City Police Department would pull its support from the planned event, the director for the coming Rockaway Olympics announced last week an immediate name change for the event, which is scheduled to take place throughout Rockaway during the next summer.
Denean Ferguson, the vice president of the 101 Precinct Community Council and the project director for the event, appeared in front of Community Board 14 on October 11 to explain the name change.
“We renamed [the event] due to some conflicts with the United States Olympic Committee,” said Ferguson, who added that her organization was declined the use of the trademarked term ‘Olympic’ for its Rockaway event.
“That [word] is apparently copyrighted or trademarked with the International Olympic Committee, so the United States Olympic Committee said ‘no, we can’t use it.’ ”
The Wave learned some time ago that the NYPD, which is backing the event, was not happy with the use of the trademarked term.
When it learned last week that a name change was pending, The Wave contacted Sgt. David Holloway, of the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau at One Police Plaza.
“Denean was informed numerous times verbally and in writing of the copyright laws concerning the use of the word Olympics,” said Holloway in an email.
Holloway referred the newspaper to the Amateur Sports Act, Section 220506 which gives the United States Olympic Committee exclusive rights to the symbols of the International Olympic Committee such as the five interlocking rings and words such as Olympics and Olympiad.
Ferguson said she did not specially ask about the Olympic torch, which highlights the logo for the Rockaway event.
“The problem comes when you ask formal questions, you get formal answers,” said Ferguson when asked about the logo.
The Olympic Charter for the International Olympic Committee lays out what they consider to be Olympic properties, and it quickly became clear that neither the word nor the symbol that we had planned to use, the Olympic Torch, could be used for the Rockaway event without violating that copyright.
Ferguson said that the word “Olympics” would be removed from the logo and replaced with “Rockaway Teen Challenge.”
The Rockaway Teen Challenge is for youth 12 to 19 years old from across the peninsula.
In addition to sporting events it will include poetry, essay writing and spelling bee competitions.
“The project is not just for the kids who live in the 101 Precinct, but also the 100 Precinct as well,” said Ferguson.
Work is still being done on obtaining a domain name for their website.
For now information can be found at http://rockawayolympics.com where you will be redirected to the newly designed Rockaway Teen Challenge website.