Ravelry vs the US Olympic Committee

Oh dearie, dearie … there’s another uproar going on in the knitting and crocheting community about the US Olympic Committee’s cease-and-desist letter to Ravelry and their proposed event, the Ravelympics. Have you heard about it?

Here’s the latest:

JUN 21, 2012, 12:07 PM ET

Statement Update:

“As a follow-up to our previous statement on this subject, we would again like to apologize to the members of the Ravelry community. While we stand by our obligation to protect the marks and terms associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in the United States, we sincerely regret the use of insensitive terms in relation to the actions of a group that was clearly not intending to denigrate or disrespect the Olympic Movement. We hope you’ll accept this apology and continue to support the Olympic Games.”

Click on the link for the full text of the ‘apology’.


What started it all off is a letter from the USOC to the Ravelry founder, Casey Forbes. The text of the C&d letter can be read in the following link:


And this is the Yarn Harlot’s post on this: http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/

*sigh* We’re all supposed to be relaxed while we’re crocheting or knitting! I didn’t even know about the Ravelympics (I try not to sign on to Ravelry – otherwise I’d be spending too much time on there!), so I wasn’t planning on anything. I crochet and knit in front of the tv anyway, so the games would have been just another show to pass the time. My first reaction when I found out was just to laugh out loud. Really? The USOC was going after Ravelry about using the word ‘Ravelympics’ because it is disrespectful to the athletes?

I understand the knitters’ and crocheters’ indignation that their Ravelympics (working on a project from start to finish while watching the games) is seen as denigrating to athletes. It wasn’t about trademarks and logos. I think we’re all smart enough to know that. But at the end of it all, if the use of the word ‘Olympic’ is the main issue, then why isn’t the International Olympic Committee sending out cease and desist letters to any and all who use the word or hold events similar to the Olympics? Oh, I think I read somewhere that there is something about the Mount Olympic in Washington, and the use of the word in a town with the same name that the USOC is also trying to stop. Really??

Much ado about nothing? What do you think?


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