Olympics Items of Note

China cracks down on video pirates Ebersol says quake revealed changes in China The Games chalks up massive musical score
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. . . regarding video piracy . . .
The People“s Republic of China is drawing the line on stealing Olympics footage. According to Business Week, the government has put out the word that video piracy of the Games will not be tolerated. An official quoted for the article said the intention is to make the Games “a fine example of copyright protection.” However, the first line of enforcement is the self-policing YouTube model, i.e., Web site proprietors have to take down pirated video if and when they see it.

NBC, along with the Chinese rights holder, is also using some sort of spider from a Silicon Valley firm that“s supposed the find and flag unauthorized video. The article is available at BusinessWeek.com.

. . . regarding the Sichuan earthquake. . .
Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal“s Sports & Olympics divisions, told The Hollywood Reporter that the devastating 8.0 earthquake that hit Sichuan Province May 12 has demonstrated how China“s coverage of internal issues has changed. He noted that the quake, which has left more than 68,000 people dead, more than 87,000 injured and more than 15 million displaced, wouldn“t have received as much coverage just 10 years ago.

Sichuan Province is located southwest of Beijing, where the Games are scheduled to take place in August. China has said there would be no media restrictions up to and including the Games; it subsequently has been the subject of much scrutiny over Beijing“s abysmal air quality and the nation“s relationship with Tibet.

A bucketload of money is always at stake with the Olympics, for which NBC paid $894 million in broadcast and cable rights for the Beijing Games alone. It will be the first Games done entirely in HD. The Hollywood Reporter piece is available here. Paul Thomasch of Reuters posted a more complete version of Ebersol“s comments at his blog.

. . . regarding the music . . .
NBC is expected to have some 30,000 musical cues available on demand for the Olympic Games, according to Advertising Age. The collection will cover everything from “a crushing defeat by a German pole vaulter or a stunning victory by a Vietnamese handball player,” the article states.

Enlisting the assistance of an audio archivist, NBC will have keyword search access to tunes that can be instantly transformed into a soundtrack.

Ad Age has more on the sound of the Games here.