Originally created 12/30/00

SLOC sues over Web site



SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake Organizing Committee has sued a woman for her Web site that features Winter Games trivia and provides help finding housing during the Olympics.

Christine Wallace's site is called SLC2002.com and it labels itself as a "100 percent unofficial site." It has a mascot, cups, T-shirts and other merchandise for sale.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, claims copyright infringement and accuses the Salt Lake woman of deceiving consumers and "causing irreparable harm" to SLOC and the U.S. Olympic committee.

The site also carries varied and changing advertising, some of which offends the Olympics sponsors: Internet gambling and screen-savers of scantily clad women.

"The primary concern is definitely copyright infringement," said Justin Toth, associate general counsel for the organizing committee. "But a secondary issue is the tarnishment of the Olympic movement by attaching its symbols and marks to gambling and sexually suggestive material."

Wallace said she was unaware of the suit, but her Australian partners, who designed her site and one tied to the Sydney Olympics, assured her there was nothing to fear.

She said the company successfully fended off similar cybersquatting charges related to its Sydney site during the 2000 Summer Olympics.

"We're happy that they're suing us," she said. "This generates publicity and publicity gets traffic to the Web site and that's what sells advertising."

Wallace said she has no control over what banner ads appear on the site.