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Netizens Parody Olympic Emblem
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The emblem for the 2008 Beijing Olympics has been mocked up and changed to public toilet signs by mischievous Internet users, Beijing-based Legal Evening reports.

Mischievous internet users have mocked up and changed the emblem for the 2008 Beijing Olympics to public toilet signs.

The prank was found by accident on Wednesday when a reporter was looking at a famous domestic online community. The poster was only a copy, it said. The original Internet address was unavailable.

In the poster, the Beijing Olympic emblem, "Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing" was changed into two versions for male and female public restrooms respectively.

The entangled five rings, the symbol of the Olympics, was erased from the bottom in both of the pranked emblems. In their place were the Chinese characters for the two genders.

The color of the sign for male toilet was gray, not red like the original, while the Chinese calligraphy character for "Jing" in Beijing in the prototype was redesigned as a female toilet sign looking like a girl dressed in a skirt.

Reports said the emblems have been widespread on the Internet. Internet users can easily find them on famous search engines such as Google and Baidu.

The mischief triggered heated online disputes. Some complain it's unacceptable to see these originally beautiful emblems transforemd into such lousy signs. Supporters said the parodies amuse them and appear without any vicious intentions.

In an interview with the reporter, the director of the online community said they won't remove the poster from their website since it didn't violate laws.

An official with the Beijing Olympic organizer, BOCOG, condemned the prank, warning its spread online may bring negative influences on the Beijing Games.

BOCOG published a regulation in 2003 on the protection of intellectual property rights relating to the 2008 Games' emblem. It prohibited actions from setting apart, distorting or juggling the emblem by any organization and individual in any case. Making the emblem part of other incorporated logos is also banned.

However, Fang Yu, a lawyer with Beijing Dadi Law Office, said the juggle did not violate the regulation because it only spread online without any attempt for commercial purposes.

Fang also claimed the BOCOG regulation doesn't bear any legal force.

In a similar online mischief recently, the Beijing Olympic mascots, the five Fuwas, did not escape from the mean-spirited zeal of Internet users either. The heads of the five mascots kids were replaced with famous Chinese comedians, including Zhao Benshan and Ge You.

BOCOG unveiled the emblem for the Beijing Olympics on August 3, 2003. The organization says on its website that through inspiration from traditional Chinese calligraphy art, the character "Jing" from the city's name is developed into the form of a dancing human being, reflecting the ideal of a "New Olympics." The words "Beijing 2008" also resemble vivid shapes of Chinese characters in handwriting, voicing in concise strokes the countless feelings Chinese people possess towards the Olympics.
(CRI January 12, 2007)

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