Toronto Mike

Does VANOC Own Our National Anthem?


Not only am I not an economist, but I'm also not a lawyer. As a non-lawyer, I find myself confused by copyright law.

This story says the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee has trademarked the line "With glowing hearts".  That's right, they've trademarked a line from "O Canada", our national anthem.

VANOC would only challenge the commercial use of the mottoes if a business began using them to create a specific, unauthorized commercial association with the 2010 Winter Games, said the statement.
O Canada is over 100 years old and, according to the Department of Canadian Heritage, is in the public domain so may be used without permission from the government.

How can they trademark something that's in the public domain?  How can they trademark something they didn't create or invent?

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