UFC, NFL, and NBA Unite Against Streaming Piracy with Rapid DMCA Takedowns

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UFC, NFL, and NBA Unite Against Streaming Piracy with Rapid DMCA Takedowns

In a groundbreaking move, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), National Football League (NFL), and National Basketball Association (NBA) have formed an alliance to combat the rampant issue of live-streaming piracy, which has been causing substantial revenue loss. The three prominent American sports leagues are collaborating to accelerate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown process for illegal livestreams.

Dana White
Dana White

A recent report from TorrentFreak reveals that the UFC, NFL, and NBA have jointly penned a letter urging the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to revolutionize the removal of illicit livestreams by making the process nearly instantaneous. This proactive stance is motivated by the staggering financial implications, with the leagues collectively facing the potential loss of an estimated $28 billion due to piracy-related revenue leakage.

The leagues argue in the letter that online service providers (OSPs) often take an unacceptable amount of time – “hours or even days” – to shut down infringing content, leading to the unauthorized streams being accessible throughout the entire event duration.

The crux of their grievance centers around Section 512 of the DMCA, which stipulates that infringing content must be removed “expeditiously.” However, the ambiguity surrounding the term “expeditiously” has prompted the leagues to advocate for a more stringent phrasing, such as “instantaneously or near-instantaneously,” to leave no room for interpretation.

Beyond expediting takedowns, the leagues are also championing the implementation of stringent measures for OSPs to authenticate users responsible for posting livestreams. This proposal, encompassing “particular verification measures,” seeks to deter streams from being broadcasted by newly created accounts or those with limited subscribers.

The leagues substantiate their plea by highlighting that several OSPs have already successfully adopted and enforced similar measures. This unified effort to thwart live streaming piracy not only underscores the financial significance of legitimate content distribution but also paves the way for a more secure and profitable future for the sports entertainment industry.

UFC and its president, Dana White, are facing a legal storm as a long-standing class action lawsuit, originally filed in 2020, gains momentum. The lawsuit, which accuses the promotion of employing unethical practices to control fighters and maintain an iron grip on the MMA world, recently achieved class certification by U.S. District Court Judge Richard F. Boulware. Amidst this legal battle, a podcast episode has unveiled a bombshell email that dates back to UFC’s major move 12 years ago.

The subject line of Silva’s email reads, “We own MMA.” This seemingly innocuous phrase takes on a deeper meaning when considered within the context of the promotion’s aggressive expansion. With the purchase of Strikeforce, UFC effectively gained control over a substantial portion of the top-ranked fighters across various weight categories, consolidating its dominance in the sport. Silva’s email, ranking fighters 1 through 15 based on predominant MMA sites, echoed UFC’s positioning strategy.

Maysey emphasized the significance of this email, explaining that it was written in the wake of UFC’s finalization of the Strikeforce acquisition. This move cemented UFC’s status as a powerhouse in the MMA landscape, sparking debates about potential monopolistic tendencies. The email’s content suggests a sense of ownership and control, further fueling discussions about the promotion’s influence on the sport.

As UFC navigates its legal battle, the emergence of this email adds a new layer of complexity to the allegations against the promotion. The class action lawsuit contends that UFC’s practices stifle fighters’ economic opportunities and hinder competitive alternatives. While the legal proceedings unfold, this email from over a decade ago serves as a reminder of the promotion’s aggressive expansion strategy and its impact on the broader MMA ecosystem.

The revelations from this email could potentially impact the ongoing class action lawsuit and the public perception of UFC’s practices. While the legal proceedings will ultimately determine the outcome, the email sheds light on the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that have shaped the promotion’s trajectory. As MMA fans and legal experts alike scrutinize the implications of this email, the legal battle between UFC and its fighters continues to unfold.

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Edited by: Gerard Crispin