Beijing Games organizers have threatened legal action against online pranksters who poke fun at official Olympic symbols after a rash of digital spoofs appeared on the Internet.
An image of the 2008 Olympic emblem “Dancing Beijing” circulated on Chinese Web sites and chat-rooms this week — the original symbol of a human figure in motion morphed into “male” and “female” symbols commonly seen on public toilet doors.
The 2008 Olympic mascots — cartoon representations of four animals and the Olympic flame — were also targeted, their heads replaced by Japanese cartoon heroes, Chinese pop idol finalists and celebrity footballers including David Beckham.
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) said the practice was “tarnishing the Olympic spirit.”
“It’s a rights violation that contravenes our country’s laws and regulations,” an unnamed BOCOG legal affairs spokesman said in a statement on BOCOG’s Web site.
“We hold the right to carry out legal action against such offenders,” the statement said.
The spoofing of Beijing’s Olympic symbols continues a trend of sending up sacred cows of Chinese history and popular culture on the Internet in recent months.
Last August, China’s State Administration for Radio, Film and Television announced it was preparing legislation banning the creation of unauthorized short films that mock officially approved culture.
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