The World Cup hasn’t even arrived yet, and FIFA is already making themselves look bad – they’re filing DMCA complaints about Twitter users who have the World Cup logo as their avatar.
The complaints were found by Chilling Effects, which is a site maintained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and numerous universities throughout the countries. FIFA’s complaints were sent by an executive in London, alleging that, “The Official Emblem of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is being used without authorisation.” A similar complaint exists for Twitter accounts using the Brazil World Cup bid logo.
A user on Reddit surmised that the takedowns were generated by a bot that was simply crawling the web looking for the logo. But there may be something to this – of the six Twitter accounts mentioned in the complaint, one no longer exists and three have avatars no longer featuring the logo.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the days and weeks leading to the World Cup. Was this merely the work of a bot, or is FIFA pursuing it’s trademarks a little too aggressively? Will they take a step towards eradicating the use of the logo on Facebook pages and more Twitter accounts, both personal and commercial? Will they start going after blogs and websites, like our humble corner of the Internet? It’s chilling to see this happen, and more details are definitely going to be needed.