We can’t stop watching this hilarious take on Olympic sailboat racing. If you haven’t seen it yet, enjoy!
Francis Higgins was on the cusp of making an international name for himself as a sports commentator when the International Olympic Committee savagely crushed his dream.
Higgins offered a hilarious take on women’s laser radial, one of 10 Olympic sailing events at the 2012 Summer Games. Higgins dubbed his commentary over broadcast footage and posted the video, called Boats, to Vimeo. It soon went viral.
That’s when the IOC stepped in with a takedown order, sinking Boats just as it was reaching 500,000 views. Vimeo removed the video, which surprised Higgins and dashed his hopes of teaching people about a sport he found fascinating.
“The IOC don’t seem to want anyone to have or host their content other than their broadcasting partners,” Higgins told Wired via Skype from his home in Ireland. “This is fair enough, but how are people meant to be interested in sports like sailing without informative, educative and entertaining analysis like you got in Boats?”
This being the Internet, where nothing is ever really taken down, the video was picked up by various blogs that argued it is satire and protected under fair use. Many people have encouraged Higgins to appeal this grave injustice. Higgins, though, insists the video is not satire, and he’s hurt that people believe that it was.
“I was genuinely and earnestly trying my best to create an insightful piece of work,” Higgins said.
It is satire, of course, from beginning to end. Francis Higgins is the nom de plume of Chris Tordoff, an actor and screenwriter who lives in County Mayo. Higgins, also called Viper, is a character on the Irish mockumentary television program Hardy Bucks. The program tells the story of five hapless men trying to leave their rural backwater for Galway.
Tordoff said he was editing the movie Hardy Bucks when he started messing about with a sailing video. The premise is Higgins got hold of a microphone in a broadcast room and indulged his fantasy of being a sports commentator. He posted it to Vimeo earlier this week, and almost half a million people watched it within two days. That’s when Vimeo pulled the plug.
“Vimeo has removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by International Olympic Committee claiming that this material is infringing: Boats,” reads a message where the video once was.
“It’s purely a property thing,” Tordoff said. “I did insult the people on the sidelines, but other than that I don’t understand. I wasn’t criticizing the Olympics or having a go at them.”
The IOC did not respond to a request for comment.
The irony here is Higgins, er, Tordoff enjoyed the laser radial and followed the action as Ireland’s own Annalise Murphy took fourth.
For now, Tordoff doesn’t plan to appeal Vimeo’s decision because he isn’t clear on fair use and international property laws and satire. If anything, he’s been encouraged by the popularity of the video and was thrilled to learn that Graham Linehan, whom he called the “Irish king of comedy,” shared a link on Twitter. And he’s got no beef with the IOC, even if he does think they’re way too uptight.
“The IOC could do with lightening up,” he said.”The Olympics have been brilliant this year. But they don’t have a sense of humor. That’s my only problem.”
Courtesy of www.wired.com