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The UFC thinks prison time for pirates would KO piracy.  (Source: Sherdog.com)
"When people start going to jail, people will stop doing it." -- UFC President Dana White on piracy

Zuffa LLC, owned by brothers Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III, is the world's largest provider of pay-per-view content today.  The company owns and operates the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world's top professional mixed martial arts organization.

The UFC has been among several pay-per-view providers to crack down hard on internet video uploads in recent years.  With fights finding their way onto YouTube and other video sharing sites, the UFC has tried a variety of approaches to cut off the flow of its performances onto the internet.

On Monday, the UFC announced that it has subpoenaed Justin.tv and Ustream.tv -- two major live video stream sites.  The UFC's owners claim that the sites' users purchased pay-per-view buys and then rebroadcast them on the web for all to see.

According the UFC a single IP address uploaded streams from UFC 108 and UFC 110, held this year.  These streams respectively drew 36,000 and 78,000 non-paying viewers.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, content owners can use subpoenas to force service providers to reveal the identities of individuals who upload infringed content.  The UFC already announced reaching "confidential settlements" with 500 people and businesses for illegal broadcasts and viewing.

UFC President Dana White states, "I can't wait to go after the thieves that are stealing our content.  This is a fight we will not lose."

He hopes that the U.S. Congress adopts the most sweeping provisions of upcoming ACTA pact, which could send those uploading copyrighted materials to prison.  He states, "When people start going to jail, people will stop doing it."

The UFC is a popular piracy target due to the high cost of its PPV buys.  The company airs approximately twelve PPV events annually and sells them for $44.95 each, or $55.95 for an HD version.  In 2009 the UFC is estimated to have sucked in $350M USD in PPV revenue.  However, at January's UFC 106, alone, it estimates that there were 140,000 non-paying viewers of 271 illegal streams, amounting to approximately $6.3M USD in lost revenue.

One driving force behind the UFC's piracy crackdown is also growing competition from smaller competitive leagues like Strikeforce.  Strikeforce has put on a number of recent highly successful events including a recent shocking upset of Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko by Brazil's Fabricio Werdum and a massive knockout by female bantamweight champ, Canada's Sarah Kauffman, over Roxanne Modafferi.  Unlike the UFC, Strikeforce generally televises its main card on cable television thanks to deals with CBS, Showtime, and others.



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By Orpheus333 on 7/27/2010 12:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
If I'm two things in life its a nerd and a jock. I love the UFC but anyone having watched it for years know Dana White runs his mouth. He is not your average CEO and once offered to box and athlete over a contract dispute.

Frankly I have used these streams, when I couldn't see fights in a way that supports the UFC org. Many times we get a group of people together to pitch in a buy the ppvs or go to a bar. Either way, its really expensive on a college budget. Obviously there is a demand for online viewing why not charge for single streams and host on the UFC site? Maybe then I dont have to be sitting drunk at my computer on a Saturday night hitting "f5" on sites writing a play-by-play.

There is an opportunity here that's being missed. People should not be going to jail for non-violent crimes.


By JasonMick (blog) on 7/27/2010 12:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He is not your average CEO and once offered to box and athlete over a contract dispute.


Ha, that was a classic moment. And of course Ortiz pussied out.

quote:
Many times we get a group of people together to pitch in a buy the ppvs or go to a bar.


Exactly... there's plenty of sports bars that carry the PPVs. They're a bit classier than say Buffalo Wild Wings and offer a good time to get some of your friends together, without paying the ridiculous $45 rate.

I'm not saying it's horrible to actually buy the PPV, its just that I've seen people on Sherdog and other sites talking about having spent $10,000+ on PPVs, live tickets, etc. And that's something I can't fathom, particularly because most of those who claimed such expenditures also claimed to *not* be particularly rich and claimed to regret them.

quote:
There is an opportunity here that's being missed. People should not be going to jail for non-violent crimes.


And if anything laws should be consistent. You wouldn't go to jail for merely stealing a DVD or television box set (more comparable in price).

.....

I know *some* people on here hate MMA, but anyone who even marginally likes it should watch this if you missed it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ53hSQEo4k&feature...

It made Sportscenter's Top 10 for the week (#4). War Kaufman!

Strikeforce is doing awesome things these days... I'll watch the UFC, but I also try to watch Strikeforce/MMA Fight Night whenever possible, because often times they're equally entertaining.


By OUits on 7/27/2010 2:18:38 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
They're a bit classier than say Buffalo Wild Wings


Ha, BW3's is the classiest bar in my college town.

... :(


By rcc on 7/27/2010 1:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is an opportunity here that's being missed. People should not be going to jail for non-violent crimes.


A burglary when you are not a home is a non-violent crime. So, what was your address?


By ValorMorghulis on 7/28/2010 12:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People should not be going to jail for non-violent crimes.


I have to disagree with you here. There are plenty of non violent crimes which do and SHOULD have jail time. For example Bernie Madoff. If he doesn't face jail time what deterrent do we have to him? Take all the money? Sure we'll take the money and he find another way to get rich quick illegally. Or the CEOs who commit insider trading? There are non violent crimes that need to have jail time because it is a deterrent. We can hope that lesser crimes (ie shoplifting a $50 item) can have fines that are 5 to 10x greater as a deterrent. But when you reach the point where you are stealing $100M how do you fine that person $1B? They don't have that much money so they won't have to pay it so its not a deterrent, thus we have jail time.


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