The UFC continues to battle piracy on the internet with the steely determination of someone who has never tried to plug a billion leaks with 10 fingers:
Zuffa, LLC, (“Zuffa”), the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), announced today that it has 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.
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.
So long story short, the UFC isn’t really going after Justin.tv and UStream, they’re just going after their IP logs which in theory will lead them to the people streaming these events on the net. I say in theory because IP addresses are like assholes – they are all shriveled brownish grey things that are not always easily identifiable just by taking a good look at them.
Still, the UFC is rolling along with a methodical plan to knock down the basic pillars of MMA piracy: first they went for the sketchy sites that sell PPVs for 20 bucks, and we said nothing because hey … fuck those guys. Now they’re going after the Justin.tv streamers. Next will it be torrents? I’d say that’s where I think they’re going to start hitting a wall where things are impossible to enforce, but every time you download one of those things it gives you a handy list of the thirty IP addresses you’re sucking files from. So who knows? Damn Zuffa being scarily good at stuff. Why can’t they be inept like all other MMA promotions?