The Zuffa legal eagles are flying high again, this time swooping down and sinking their talons into the scurvy pirates at Justin.tv and Ustream.tv, two popular destinations for live (and illegally broadcasted) UFC programming.
After company President Dana White vowed to make life miserable for the chiselers who stream illegal feeds of live pay-per-view events, UFC.com brings word that the Zuffa legal team may have bagged their latest casualty in the war on pirates.
Here are some of the gory details:
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.
While Justin himself may not be looking at hard time, the subpoenas issued today are designed to extract the necessary information from the host website to identify the parties responsible for the uploads.
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.
While I'm sure not many fans are losing sleep over the UFC's missing money, pirating pay-per-views is illegal. They may not be able to stop Internet piracy (many have tried and failed) but it's not unrealistic to think a few high profile cases involving the average Joe would at least help to deter future pirates.
And it sounds like this is one fight UFC President Dana White is really looking forward to:
“I can’t wait to go after the thieves that are stealing our content. This is a fight we will not lose.”
Consider yourselves warned! (Again)