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The UFC thinks prison time for pirates would KO piracy.  (Source:
"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 and -- 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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RE: F--king Pirates ruining it for everyone
By chmilz on 7/27/2010 3:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
My apologies, I should have clarified. I'll revise my own quote:

Anything less than paying for content that is offered exclusively in a paid-for manner (ie, never free), is theft.

As I originally stated, I don't side with the RIAA because they've basically shoveled their own hole by finding ways to offer us free music forever and now that we're taking it carte blanche, they realize they made a fatal error and are desperately trying to regain some kind of control.

Same goes for TV. I pay my cable bill, and if I choose to not watch a TV series (on that cable or offered free over-the-air) and instead download all the episodes, I feel I have that right, since it was either paid for or freely distributed to begin with.

But PPV isn't the same. It was solely offered as a paid program. Never free. So to view it without paying for it isn't the same as viewing an episode of Futurama online that you missed on TV.

RE: F--king Pirates ruining it for everyone
By mindless1 on 7/27/2010 4:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
You might "feel" you have that right but you don't, the content property owner retains rights to how it is distributed.

I do agree however that in a fair world you would have that right.

As for "theft" I can't agree, once again it is making a copy that does not deprive the owner because these downloaders were a textbook example of people NOT WILLING TO PAY FOR IT - which means zero revenue loss. If they could not download it what would they do instead? Download something else to watch because the whole point of being on the sharing site was *free* shows.

RE: F--king Pirates ruining it for everyone
By KCjoker on 7/27/2010 7:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
If they're not willing to pay the price to watch it then why is it they like it enough to watch it for free? Obviously it has value because those people seek it out to watch on those sites for FREE. If it didn't have any value to them they wouldn't waste their time to find it.

By LRonaldHubbs on 7/28/2010 7:29:28 AM , Rating: 2
Do you really not see the answer to your own question? The obvious answer is that the value is less than the asking price. The people who are viewing the content for free do value it, but they don't value it by same amount that the content owner claims it is worth. Since the perceived value is less than the charged value they don't buy it.

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