As noted on Friday, Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC, announced that it served subpoenas on two streaming video websites, commanding them to reveal the identities of users who have uploaded video of live Pay-Per-View UFC events.
The websites, 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 UFC events.
For example, 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.
“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.”
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.