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Idle Science

Chemists Make Olympic Rings On a Molecular Scale 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the arts-and-crafts dept.
ananyo writes "Chemists in the UK have made a five-ring polyaromatic hydrocarbon and dubbed it 'olympicene'. The molecule is just a couple of nanometers wide and can be regarded as a little fragment of graphene. Strictly speaking, of course, the molecule might constitute an 'unofficial use' of the motif and land the scientists in court for copyright infringement."
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Chemists Make Olympic Rings On a Molecular Scale

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  • Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:30AM (#40134549)
    Finally, an Olympics logo that accurately represents how little I care about the Olympics. They used to be meaningful, but they've devolved into just another international political dog and pony show.
    • by cmuncy (530892)
      Exactly. Now watch the IOC jump all over this.
      • by Fjandr (66656)

        Yeah really. I read the headline and the thought which immediately sprang to mind turned out to be the third sentence of the summary.

        • by jdgeorge (18767)

          Except that the potential infringement is trademark, not copyright. Copyright has expired on the symbol, which was designed 100 years ago.

          • by Fjandr (66656)

            Well yes, the summary did get that wrong. I meant the spirit, even if the letter wasn't exactly accurate.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      They used to be meaningful

      When?[citation needed]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        During the hellenistic greek era.

      • They used to be meaningful

        When?[citation needed]

        I'm sure there are instances after this one, but Jesse Owens [wikipedia.org] springs to mind.

        • by Thud457 (234763)
          1968 [wikipedia.org]?
          1972 [wikipedia.org]?
          19 [wikipedia.org] 80 [wikipedia.org]?

          oh wait, 3 of those 4 were notable for non-sports reasons...
    • by itsdapead (734413)

      but they've devolved into just another international political dog ® and pony(TM) show (© IOC 2012).

      ...fixed that for you...

      (Disclaimer: I am not the official sarcastic git of the 2012 egg-and-spoon-race-named-after-a-Greek-mountain).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:31AM (#40134555)

    The Summer Event Police will be arresting them and locking them in the Twenty Twelve containment area under Stratford.

    All worship our Penta-ringed overlords.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:33AM (#40134561)
    Aren't the rings a trademark, not a copyright? Trademarks must be defended, otherwise the owner may lose the right to exclusive use of the trademark.
    • by tepples (727027) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [selppet]> on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:46AM (#40134643) Homepage Journal
      As I understand it, countries that have hosted the Olympic Games have to treat the rings and other IOC symbols as hardcoded famous trademarks, with sui generis restrictions that parallel the dilution restrictions on famous trademarks [wikipedia.org].
      • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:01AM (#40134711)
        In the spirit of competition, these chemists will patent the process, which will trump the trademark. Touché
        • by bunratty (545641)
          No, a patent on the process would only mean that others would not be able to use the process without getting a license from the owners of the patent. I give people who confuse copyrights, trademarks, and patents and cannot reason about them the same consideration as people who consider LSD and heroin to be similar because they're both illegal drugs. Both groups of people just give their predictable knee-jerk reactions: drugs are bad, IP protections are bad.
          • by dido (9125)

            Which is why we should all avoid use of the term 'intellectual property [gnu.org]'. Use of the term promotes precisely this sort of confusion.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            I give people who confuse copyrights, trademarks, and patents and cannot reason about them the same consideration as people who consider LSD and heroin to be similar because they're both illegal drugs.

            Cool, let's have a drugs flame war.

            I'm betting that most slashdotters will be LSD fanboys, even though they've never taken either.

          • Accuse me of bad humor, but I think somebody confused satire with legal analysis.
      • As I understand it, countries that have hosted the Olympic Games have to treat the rings and other IOC symbols as hardcoded famous trademarks

        Yeah, another example of how copyrights and trademarks can never die; 776 BC and it still hasn't expired.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:56AM (#40134693)

      Don't worry. The IOC and their local corporations that sponsor the games and license the trademarks are nothing if not diligent in defending their trademarks. When the winter olympics were held here in Vancouver in 2010, much to my dismay, they scanned the city and sent out letters to any business that had any word like olympic in it that they were infringing on their trademarks and had to desist. Poor old Olympic Pizza. They'd been in business for over 30 years under that name but now THEY were infringing. The copyright laws even were amended so that sentences with the words or phrases with the following strings in close proximity were copyright protected to the VOC; 2010, olympic, winter, and a number of sports names.

      Dog and pony show where the venues are selected not by whether the community really wants/needs/can afford to host the games but by how much swag the selection committee can take away from that town. Our city and the local taxpayers are on the hook for almost $500 million for the real estate blunder that started as the place where the athletes were to be housed. And I don't want to know how much it cost to truck and helicopter in all the snow from the interior to blanket the mountains deep enough for the events to be held. What a waste. It sickens me every time I see a sign still up boasting about how Vancouver hosted the 2010 winter olympics. If it weren't for family concerns, I'd move to Owl's Anus, Alberta. Sorry, that turned into a rant but it felt very good to get it said. If anyone reading this ever gets a chance to speak out against or otherwise block their city from hosting an olympics, do it.

      • by Nethead (1563)

        Nothing like your games did just south of the boarder in Washington State. Recall that the state capitol is Olympia and we have the Olympic mountain range. I couldn't venture how many businesses have the name Olympic in the area. Lots of nasty legal letters flying around back then.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Nothing like your games did just south of the boarder in Washington State. Recall that the state capitol is Olympia and we have the Olympic mountain range. I couldn't venture how many businesses have the name Olympic in the area. Lots of nasty legal letters flying around back then.

          How about the Ancient Greek city of Olympia * sues the fucking IOC for several hundreds of billions of euros for persistent and blatant infringement of their name?

          Might even solve the Greek debt crisis.

          * There must be something left there still.

      • by jd2112 (1535857)
        Why hasn't the IOC sued Audi? Audi's logo is obviously a rip off of the Olympics logo.
    • I don't see how it's relevant, since the Olympic Committee isn't a profit making corporation, but is actually only a group who organise a non-profit event for the promotion of sports worldwide, right? What's a trademark if they're not actually trading in anything after all.

      • by anyGould (1295481) on Monday May 28, 2012 @01:03PM (#40135849)

        I don't see how it's relevant, since the Olympic Committee isn't a profit making corporation, but is actually only a group who organise a non-profit event for the promotion of sports worldwide, right? What's a trademark if they're not actually trading in anything after all.

        The Olympics haven't been non-profit in many years. (I'm sure they're officially non-profit for tax purposes, but not in the "we don't make money at this" sense).

        For instance, between 2005-2008, the IOC (home of "Olympics, Inc.") generated nearly six billion dollars in revenue [businessinsider.com]. And remember, the terms of hosting the Games is that you, not they, are responsible for any and all cost overruns.

        There's plenty of reading out there showing the real reasons why cities and countries bid for the Five Ring Circus. (Vancouver in particular is a nice case study.)

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        I don't see how it's relevant, since the Olympic Committee isn't a profit making corporation, but is actually only a group who organise a non-profit event for the promotion of sports worldwide, right? What's a trademark if they're not actually trading in anything after all.

        Was that a joke? Now drop your daily gifts off with the selection committee, and stop talking.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This unauthorised work is a violation of the Olympic Symbol etc. (Protection) Act 1995 [legislation.gov.uk], London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 [legislation.gov.uk] and other criminal acts. (It is also trivial work based on Dietrich-Buchecker, Sauvage & Kern, 1984.)

    • All bets are off when it comes to olympic IP. They force countries to actually modify existing IP law to suit them as needed or that country doesn't get the Olympics held there.
    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>Aren't the rings a trademark, not a copyright?

      The Olympic Rings have super special protection under the law. Not only are other people not able to use the Olympic Rings without permission, but you are not able to make ANY logo with five interlocking rings on it, even if they look nothing like the Olympic Logo.

      Look at what the back of the Legend of the 5 Rings card game used to look like versus what they look like now:
      http://www.lizdanforth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/L5R-backs-300x255.jpg [lizdanforth.com] ...afte

  • by _0x783czar (2516522) on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:38AM (#40134581) Homepage Journal
    now can they make a microscopic torch and a nano bot to carry it?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    the olympic rings are interconnected, and coloured.

    this is just 5 (admittedly very small) circles pressed up against each other... blurry ones at that.

  • by James_Duncan8181 (588316) on Monday May 28, 2012 @09:45AM (#40134633) Homepage
    Trademark infringement. Trademark.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      To be fair, when their own enforcement officers can't tell the difference, why expect a little news article to get it right?

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4342335/Olympic-ban-for-florist.html [thesun.co.uk]

      Coca-Cola threatened her for copyright infringement over their trademark. It was said literally one sentence after another.

      So I in fact think it is perfectly justified to *repeat* the threats of trademark infringement and copyright infringement as Coca-Cola themselves have stated.

  • Doubly sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quacking duck (607555) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:00AM (#40134709)

    The first thing I thought as soon as I read the first sentence was that the Olympic authorities would be all over them. The second was seeing that the submitter had also thought the same thing.

    Just another indication of how badly the Olympics have been corrupted--and how they in turn corrupt the IP laws of host countries like a cancer.

    • by Inda (580031)
      Host countries like my own.

      We've been watching the torch being bussed around the country via the BBC's live stream. I don't know about other countries, but ours have flashing 30mph signs that only flash when you're going above the speed limit. We've been counting...

      I'm not doing so well at the game. I've only counted them speeding twice.

      The laws don't apply to those in charge.

      Corrupted.
      • by jez9999 (618189)

        We've been watching the torch being bussed around the country via the BBC's live stream.

        Erm, why?

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          We've been watching the torch being bussed around the country via the BBC's live stream.

          Erm, why?

          I'd guess they're bored, stoned students waiting for the end of term and with no exams to worry about, but that might be unfair.

          It's also entirely possible they're a dangerous bunch of anarchist terrorists plotting to disrupt the mythical passage of the Torch through Albion for their own seedy ends.

  • by doug141 (863552) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:02AM (#40134715)
    interlock, instead of sharing edges.
  • Not linked! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Well it's OK I suppose, but the rings in the olympiadane molecule are properly linked, and that was synthesized already back in 1994.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympiadane

  • Rather apt (Score:5, Funny)

    by bazmail (764941) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:15AM (#40134813)
    Rather apt i'd say considering so many of the athletes are chemistry buffs themselves. I care not a jot.
    • Rather apt i'd say considering so many of the athletes are chemistry buffs themselves. I care not a jot.

      Rather apt i'd say considering so many of the athletes are chemically buffed themselves.

      FTFY :)

  • first they have to find the offending molecule

  • I'm gonna guess these are the same guys who made the ring for Mr. Facebook's wife.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Monday May 28, 2012 @11:17AM (#40135191)

    I think the IOC has strayed way too far from the original principles of the olympic games and it might be time to reboot the games.

    We all have a responsibility to "vote" with our wallets and eyes by refusing to buy anything related to the olympics and to not watch the games. Stop the madness and save the original spirit of the games. The games were supposed to be about amateur sport, not money.

    • by LocalH (28506)

      Good luck with that.

      Myself, I haven't watched the games in decades nor have I bought anything "Olympic". You're only starting now?

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      The games were supposed to be about amateur sport, not money.

      Well, that was fine in pre First World War Europe when only gentlemen sportsmen competed (in between running the Empire and big game hunting), but it's a bit irrelevant nowadays.

  • stealing intellectual property is NOT ok. why is Obama allowing the terrorists to win?

    • by Fjandr (66656)

      I demand drone strikes on the laboratory!

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I demand drone strikes on the laboratory!

        Hold on, the IOC has its own military now? Maybe that means here in the UK we won't have to provide them with free police and military cover.

        • by Fjandr (66656)

          No, obviously they would be provided and paid for by the UK as a result of contractual provisions in London hosting agreement. Don't tell me there's no Drone Strike Clause. How could the IOC overlook that?

  • No, you can count on it.

  • To be honest, the photo of it reminds me more of a very common arrangment in which 5 spherical objects can be laid out. There's almost nothing about it that reminds me of the olympic rings. The colors aren't there, the rings don't overlap, and the circles look more like hexagons.

    Basically, it just looks like some molecule to me...

  • Thank you for your ambitious start. Please do us all a favour and shrink the rest of the Olympics down to that size too!

    Sincerely,
    The citizens of the host contries paying the massive public debt for the private advertising spectacle every 2 years.

  • A molecule like this has already been made by Frasier Stoddart in 1994 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympiadane). The 1994 version, unlike the olympicene synthesized here, actually has interlocking rings versus rings that are simply juxtaposed.
  • Another example of overblown novelty... AFM is nothing new, and "olympicene" is also nothing new.. it's been made before... at least as early as 1965.. and possibly earlier still (haven't looked deeply in the scifinder databases).

    Here's a literature citation (something the parent article sorely lacks) with proof. You know.. the stuff science is supposedly made of ?

    http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/1965/JR/jr9650005920 [rsc.org]

  • Boy am I glad I don't live in London any more.

    It's going to be a fucking nightmare. If I still had a house there, I'd burn it down now, collect the insurance and piss off abroad for a couple of months.

    When it has eventually struggled back to life from the smoking ruins left by rioting crazed crowds driven to madness by blocked roads and stationary trains, there will probably be some good property bargains to be had.

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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