Although the 2010 Olympic Winter Games are over five years away, a traditional Olympic activity has already started in earnest, with the news that VANOC and its lawyers are hunting down unsuspecting small business owners and serving demand letters on them “to protect the Olympic brand”.

A Greek restaurant on Vancouver’s Denman Street and a Squamish home builder have already been targeted, and more local businesses are sure to be on the hit list. Such heavy-handed measures are necessary, say the organizers, to avoid a financial deficit in staging the games.

Oh, I get it. When BC taxpayers face the inevitable multimillion dollar cost overruns inherent in staging such an extravagant two-week circus, we are all to blame a West End pizzeria for the red ink.

The following are among the words, phrases and things that cannot be used without express permission:

Olympics, Olympiad, Olympian, The Olympic Rings, The Olympic Torch, The Olympic Flame, The Olympic Motto (citius, altius, fortius), 2010, Vancouver 2010, Canada 2010, Whistler 2010, Vancouver Whistler 2010, 2010 Games, Team Canada 2010, Winter Games, Countdown to 2010, Sea to Sky Games, Spirit of 2010 and Vancouver ’10.