World Cup soccer doesn’t seem to be a big deal in the United States this year, with viewership down more than 40 percent amid the absence of the American team.
But for countries with teams still in the running, such as Croatia, Belgium, Spain and Colombia, it is.
Fans are glued to the broadcasts and are uninhibited in cheering for their team.
When England star Harry Kane scored a goal against Tunisia, Kathryn Conn’s 7-year-old son started dancing around the living room in celebration.
Conn recorded the dance and posted it on social media.
Such exhibitions are not unusual. Here’s a compilation of similar reactions from 2010, when Landon Donovan scored a game-winning goal. This video has been viewed millions of times:
But Conn found out within hours that FIFA, the international organization controlling World Cup soccer, had ordered it to be taken down.
The offense: The video of the boy’s five-second dance included the blurry image of a television screen playing the game in the background.
“And if there’s one thing FIFA is serious about, it’s their copyright,” commented the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“Anyway, FIFA apparently doesn’t like it when fans celebrate near their television sets. It sent a takedown notice aimed at a five-second video of a young boy celebrating in his living room,” EFF said.
FIFA apparently “was worried that a blurry background shot of a soccer game in a five-second video would make people less likely to watch 2018’s most-viewed TV event in England,” EFF said.
Citing a 10-year-old court fight over a 29-second, dancing-child video that had a Prince song playing in the background that recently was settled, EFF said: “We hope it won’t take 10 years of litigation for FIFA to learn its lesson here. It should respect fair use and respect its fans.”
EFF did note that the FIFA isn’t always so particular about the rules.
It linked to a Department of Justice announcement a few years ago about a 92-count superseding indictment that charged 16 defendants, including members of FIFA’s executive committee, with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies.
The DOJ said it was part of a 24-year scheme to “enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.”
“The new defendants charged in the superseding indictment include high-ranking officials of FIFA, the organization responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer worldwide, as well as high-ranking officials of other soccer governing bodies that operate under the FIFA umbrella,” DOJ said at the time.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ending the rampant corruption we have alleged amidst the leadership of international soccer – not only because of the scale of the schemes, or the brazenness and breadth of the operation required to sustain such corruption, but also because of the affront to international principles that this behavior represents,” said then-Attorney General Lynch.
“For decades, these defendants used their power as the leaders of soccer federations throughout the world to create a web of corruption and greed that compromises the integrity of the beautiful game,” said then FBI-Director James Comey.