Photo of UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta by Michael Cohen via Getty Images.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans looking to get some insight into why Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a staunch supporter of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), need look no further than UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who wrote a letter to Congressman Lamar Smith last November outlining his concerns.
Middle Easy has it:
This is a critical piece of legislation that directly affects the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) and many other U.S.-based companies that create American jobs by producing live sporting events. Presently, the UFC, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and many other American sporting businesses are threatened by the unlawful live streaming of our telecasts.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the world's largest fight promotion suggests that piracy is costing thousands of hard working people their jobs. But is blindly supporting this type of legislation, regardless of its collateral damage, the best solution?
More from Fertitta after the jump.
The piracy of live sporting events is illegal, it kills jobs, and it threatens the expansion of U.S.-based companies. This is the issue that keeps us up at night, and we are very concerned about the continued theft of our shows.
In 2001, my brother and I along with our friend Dana White, purchased the nearly bankrupt UFC. We saw great potential in the UFC when many thought we were crazy. We took a great risk, but today the UFC is a phenomenal success, creating and impacting thousands of jobs for our athletes, licensees, partners, and affiliates. That success is threatened by the theft and retransmission of our live pay-per-view events and telecasts, which account for a significant portion of our revenues. Our copyright-protected works are critical to our survival, yet there are infringing web sites where one can find almost any type of pirated content, including live UFC events, NFL, NBA, and MLB games, the Olympics, and virtually every TV show and movie. If copyrighted works are allowed to be pirated with impunity, the potential effects on U.S. producers of entertainment programming, including the thousands of jobs that they create, will be disastrous.
There it is folks, straight from the horse's mouth. You can read the entire letter here.
The SOPA bill was problematic from its inception. What if you had a website that allowed people to stream video and then someone posted copyrighted video against site policy ? Is the person who hosts the video supposed to be held accountable for any and everything streamed on the site ?
Do the ends justify the means?
Not everyone believes so, which is probably why the UFC website was hacked on Sunday (Jan. 22, 2012) as retaliation for the promotion's support of SOPA. Read all about that here, as well as a more detailed look at the UFC/SOPA debate here.
What's the answer here, Maniacs?