In an aggressive effort to stop illegal feeds of their pay-per-view events, Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC, announced Friday it filed a lawsuit against Justin.tv, Inc. in United States District Court for the District of Nevada for copyright and trademark infringement.
“Zuffa has attempted to work on numerous occasions with Justin.tv over nearly a two-year period to encourage it to prevent or limit its infringing activities,” Zuffa’s attorney, Donald J. Campbell, stated in the official press release. “Regrettably, Justin.tv has not only turned a blind eye to the massive online piracy occurring on its website, we believe it has actually induced its users to commit copyright infringement thus leaving Zuffa no alternative but to take this fight to the courts.”
Justin.tv enables anyone with an internet connection to broadcast live streaming video to an unlimited audience. Although purportedly developed to bring user-generated content to a large live audience, the website is routinely exploited by users to broadcast illegally uploaded content, including Octagon shows.
On October 23, 2010, over 50,000 people watched live streaming feeds of the UFC 121 PPV event. Zuffa went as far as hiring third-party contractors to remove more than 200 infringing live streams of UFC 121 from Justin.tv. This piracy represents a significant loss of revenue to Zuffa and its mobile, online, cable and satellite distribution partners each year.
Zuffa is the largest provider of PPV content in the world and delivers fights to fans in over 354 million households across 145 countries and territories.