July 23, 1998 12:00 AM

Though the Olympics are usually associated with goodwill and sportsmanship, there have been incidents to mar its feel-good status. But a recent scandal has little to do with athletes’ behavior and everything to do with documenting their moves. NBC is up in arms over the discovery of 30 video pirates (the latest, Moscow TV6’s Internet arm) who have illegally fed live video and sound clips of the Sydney games, reports the Associated Press. For NBC, which has invested a reported $4 billion for exclusive rights to the games and is the only Internet site authorized to show the Olympic video online (day-old footage so that it’s not competing with the TV coverage), this was no small matter. That’s why there’s a task force at work monitoring the Web for illegal live coverage of the games. According to the AP, these superhighway bandits don’t stand a chance: once they’re discovered by the International Olympic Committee, they’re immediately e-mailed and warned to stop. So far, all of the groups contacted have backed down.

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