In an aggressive effort to stop illegal feeds of their pay-per-view events, Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and WEC, announced Friday it has served subpoenas on two popular streaming websites, demanding them to reveal the identities of users who have uploaded UFC videos for free.
“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.”
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 Octagon events.
According to Zuffa, over 36,000 people watched a live stream of the UFC 108 PPV broadcast that was uploaded from a single IP address. Less than two months later, that same IP address uploaded multiple live streaming feeds of the UFC 110 PPV event, which was watched by over 78,000 non-paying users.
Zuffa is currently the largest provider of Pay-Per-View content in the world, reaching fans in over 430 million households across 147 countries and territories.
Here’s some legal mumbo jumbo and a guilt-driven closing paragraph from Zuffa’s official press release:
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.
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.