Steve Messina is asking for your help.
He's currently being sued by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for $32 million for allegedly stealing pay-per-view (PPV) events and then uploading them to popular file-sharing websites like Pirate Bay (details). In addition, the suit claims the Staten Island fan provided a PayPal link for donations to fund his thievery.
Messina insists that most -- if not all -- of the online reports are false.
In addition, he also claims he was in it for the love of mixed martial arts (MMA), not to make a buck, and that any money he has gets spent on medication. The self-described agoraphobe suffers from panic disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder, which once kept him confined to his bedroom for four straight years.
But he needs a lawyer (and $5,000) to help prove it (via Torrent Freak):
Messina, who says he's worth just about nothing, informs TorrentFreak he has a little under three weeks to respond to the $3.5 billion-valued Zuffa or suffer a default judgment. He's found a lawyer prepared to take on the case pre-trial and pending settlement but needs $5,000 to get things going, an amount he doesn't have. To that end Messina has set up a GoFundMe campaign in the hope that those sympathetic to his situation might donate a few dollars.
You can see his donation page, as well as a personal statement from Messina, by clicking here.
UFC has been battling online piracy since day one and ZUFFA head cheese Lorenzo Fertitta even petitioned Congress in support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Internet hackers fought back by taking over the UFC website before eventually getting busted.
Both sides have claimed victory in battle, but the war rages on.
Will you help fund it?