UFC out lobbying almost every major sport in their goal for anti-piracy legislation

The ironically open-source FBI anti-piracy warning.

In 2008 the Center for Responsive Politics started tracking the money corporations spent lobbying on Capitol Hill. Now, the 2012 numbers are out, and the UFC is near the top for sports organizations.

Every year massive amounts of money are spent steering the nations political discourse, and for decades much of this money when under-reported (often entirely unreported). The Center for Responsive Politics has looked to change that by keeping a careful eye exactly who's getting what from whom, and if possible why?

To answer these questions, the UFC spent over $600,000 last year on various lobbying efforts, the principal of which was their longstanding war against internet piracy. It's a battle they've been losing, at least on the legislative level, lately with the failure of the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) both of which were shot down amidst growing public outcry and massive petitioning efforts.

According to MMAjunkie the UFC has contracted two firms to do make their cases to law makers, Brownstein, Hyatt, Faber and Schreck LLP and SB Consulting who work to educate lawmakers as to the extent and damaging effects of online piracy. Last years numbers are almost a 150% increase from 2011, partially due to the UFC's efforts in battling an anti-trust investigation which ultimately concluded in their favor. UFC Co-Chief Operations Officer Lawrence Epstein went on the record about the promotion's recent spending efforts after attempts to make online piracy a felony offense were killed off.

"I think we've got a lot of work to do," Epstein said. "There is a general sort of bias that has anything to do with intellectual property because of the fallout from [the Stop Online Piracy Act] and [Protect IP Act]."

...

"We saw this train coming down the tracks, but in Washington, those in power make the decisions," he said.

...

"The only way this is really going to slow down is if, frankly, there is criminal prosecution," he said. "These pirates are doing incredible damage to businesses like ours. This needs to be a felony, and you need to prosecute these people." (quotes via MMAjunkie)

The only organization to outspend the UFC was the NFL, which spent a massive 1.1 million dollars on their own 2012 lobbying efforts (not piracy). By comparison the third highest spender, the PGA, spent only $380,000. It's one of the forgotten major expenses the UFC is currently running up along with promoting events and paying fighters. Legal battles in a variety of arenas are time consuming and expensive, but if the UFC is going to remain devoted to the PPV structure then preventing online piracy is going to remain a high priority.


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