Dana/Zuffa subpoena Justin.TV for UFC 108/UFC 110.
"The world's largest pay-per-view content provider shows no signs of slowing its anti-piracy efforts.
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials today announced they have subpoenaed Justin.tv and Ustream.tv – two sites with user-provided live video content – due to their broadcasts of illegally uploaded content, including the UFC's pay-per-view events.
Zuffa LLC, the UFC's parent company, has served both sites subpoenas that demand they reveal the identities of users who uploaded UFC content.
Today's release specifically points to one user from a single IP address who uploaded this year's UFC 108 and UFC 110 events, which drew 36,000 and 78,000 non-paying viewers, respectively.
"I can't wait to go after the thieves that are stealing our content," UFC President Dana White stated. "This is a fight we will not lose."
Today's release cites a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allows copyright owners to obtain subpoenas from a federal court that orders a service provider to disclose the identity of subscribers who allegedly engage in infringing activities. Due to the UFC's hefty PPV price tags, the promotion's content is a frequent target of piracy.
The subpoenas are just the latest in the UFC's ongoing fight. As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported earlier this month, UFC officials recently announced they had reached "confidential settlements" with more than 500 businesses and individuals as a result of illegal broadcasts and viewing of UFC events.
The UFC really ramped up its anti-piracy efforts just this year, and as White told MMAjunkie.com, he sees only one surefire way to get pirates' attention.
"When people start going to jail, people will stop doing it," White said.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee earlier this year during a referendum on Internet piracy of sporting events. He said the UFC's anti-piracy team, for example, had uncovered 271 illegal streams of January's UFC 106 event with more than 140,000 viewers.
The UFC annually offers approximately a dozen PPV offerings and in 2009 earned an estimated $350 million in PPV revenue. The events cost $44.95 each ($55.95 for the HD version) both via cable/satellite providers and via official online outlets.
Currently, the promotion has just a handful of authorized online PPV affiliates – UFC.com, Yahoo! Sports and MMAFighting.com, for example – who charge the same $44.95 fee. Lawrence Epstein, the UFC's general legal counsel, said the Internet price is mandated by the promotion's contract with pay-per-view providers such as DirecTV and DISH Network and cannot be lowered.
All other outlets – including those who charge a discounted fee – are doing so illegally, Epstein said."