UFC Sues Justin.TV

Images_mediumMMA Fighting has the story:

Zuffa, the UFC's parent company, announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Justin.tv, for what it calls "Justin.tv's repeated and ongoing failure to meaningfully address the rampant and illegal uploading of video of live Pay-Per-View UFC events by members and users of the Justin.tv website.

In its announcement of the lawsuit, the UFC said that "the Justin.tv website is routinely exploited by users to broadcast illegally uploaded content, including UFC events." The UFC said more than 50,000 people watched live feeds of the UFC 121 and that the UFC hired contractors to get more than 200 UFC 121 live streams removed from Justin.tv.

"Zuffa has attempted to work on numerous occasions with Justin.tv over nearly a two-year period to encourage it to prevent or limit its infringing activities," UFC lawyer Donald J. Campbell said. "Regrettably, Justin.tv has not only turned a blind eye to the massive online piracy occurring on its website, we believe it has actually induced its users to commit copyright infringement thus leaving Zuffa no alternative but to take this fight to the courts."

Web TV Wire comments:

The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is suing Justin.TV and Ustream in an attempt to get them to give up the IP addresses and other data related to the users who made events available to watch on the respective sites.

Around one million people legally tune in to the big UFC events, paying up to $50 each for the privilege. But UFC is alleging that 36,000 people watched a stream of UFC 108 in January, with 78,000 watching UFC 110 six weeks later via the same means.
Will Justin.TV and Ustream hand over the details of those responsible for streaming these events? If so, it could set a precedent. Which has to be the aim of the UFC, alongside an attempt to scare others from doing the same thing in the future.

As always the UFC plays hardball. They're entirely in the right from a legal standpoint, but the precedent is clear from previous attempts to protect copyright on the Internet that they're fighting an uphill battle. 

Sergio Non has more:

In July, Zuffa's lawyers subpoenaed Justin.tv and Ustream.tv to obtain the identities of people who stream pay-per-view events.

The court filing for Zuffa characterizes Justin.tv as far less responsive than Ustream.tv when it comes to guarding intellectual property:

In terms of pure volume of copyright and trademark infringement during UFC live events, Justin.tv is easily the most offensive website of its kind.

In contrast, many other websites which provide similar video management and streaming platforms have increased efforts to reduce the theft of UFC live events. For example, Ustream, a competitor of Justin.tv, has taken efforts to reduce the number of infringing feeds of recent UFC live events to minimal levels. Ustream lessened the once-rampant copyright and trademark infringement through increased efforts to discourage piracy and to actively police the content posted on its website by users and members. ...

By contrast, Justin.tv refuses to engage in the same or similar efforts taken by Ustream to protected copyrighted material, and continues to induce and encourage its users to engage in massive copyright infringement.

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