See below for a new statement from the UFC and WEC’s parent company Zuffa as they seek to ramp up their battle against the pirates who illegally stream their events online.
“Zuffa, LLC, (“Zuffa”), the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), announced today that it has served subpoenas on two streaming video websites, commanding them to reveal the identities of users who have uploaded video of live Pay-Per-View UFC events.
The websites, Justin.tv and Ustream.tv, enable anyone with an Internet connection to broadcast live streaming video to an unlimited audience. Although originally developed to bring user-generated content to a large live audience, these sites have been exploited by some users to broadcast illegally uploaded content, including UFC events.
For example, on January 2, 2010, over 36,000 people watched a live streaming feed of the UFC 108 Pay-Per-View event that was uploaded from a single IP address. Less than two months later, on February 21, 2010, that same IP address was used to upload multiple live streaming feeds of the UFC 110 Pay-Per-View event, which was watched by over 78,000 non-paying users. This piracy represents a significant loss of revenue to UFC and their mobile, online, cable and satellite distribution partners each year.
“I can’t wait to go after the thieves that are stealing our content,” said UFC President Dana White. “This is a fight we will not lose.”
Under §512(h) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a copyright owner can obtain a subpoena from a federal court ordering a service provider to disclose the identity of a subscriber who is allegedly engaging in infringing activities. The subpoenas served by Zuffa require Justin.tv and Ustream.tv to disclose information in their possession that Zuffa can use to identify those who have been pirating and rebroadcasting recent UFC events online. With this information in hand, Zuffa will prosecute civil actions against the individuals who have infringed Zuffa’s copyrights.
Zuffa is the largest provider of Pay-Per-View content in the world, and delivers exciting matches to fans in over 430 million households across 147 countries and territories. Zuffa encourages the development of new technology to deliver UFC content to licensed online platforms, mobile devices, and gaming systems. However, Zuffa does not condone the use of streaming video or other new technologies to violate intellectual property laws, and it will vigorously protect its copyrighted content against piracy in any medium.
Those who upload live UFC events as free streaming video harm UFC athletes, arena owners, and hard-working Zuffa employees who have transformed the once-obscure sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) into a successful professional sports organization. The UFC brand has created American jobs in the entertainment, fitness, and clothing industries. Zuffa will continue to fight on the cutting edge of copyright law to defend the intellectual property rights that support American economic growth.”