“Links to this Site are not permitted except with the written consent of TO2015™. If you wish to link to the Site, you must submit a written request to TO2015™ to do so,” read the terms.
The seemingly strict legal agreement drew some criticism from both legal experts and media outlets, including UK-based publication The Register.
The publication also sent the Pan Am Games organizers a polite email asking permission to link to the site.
“Dear Pan Am Games lawyers, Welcome to the internet,” the email read.
“It is only fair that we warn you the article is likely to be critical of yourselves and contain a good degree of mockery. We should also note that we will link to your site regardless of your response. But all the same, it’s nice to have permission.”
However, the terms have since been changed to remove that very detail.
Not one word about hyperlinking to the website.
Catherine Lovrics, a new media and copyright lawyer with Bereskin & Parr, told Global News that the terms were not aimed at the media – nor the average social media user – but likely to businesses that aren’t official sponsors of the Games.
“The Pan Am Games likely included this language for the sake of having the right to go after commercial uses,” Lovrics said. “This type of term is not all that uncommon.”
Because technically, as Lovrics pointed out, information like event results and medal counts is found on the Toronto2015.org website.
She noted while these terms are not limited to commercial uses, it’s still unlikely that the Pan Am organizers would go after social media users tweeting sections of the website.