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UFC joins forces with NFL & NBA, demands DMCA power to ‘instantaneously’ zap illegal PPV streams


UFC, NBA, and NFL are joining forces in the fight against online pirates.

In a letter sent to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the respective sports leagues demanded the power to “instantaneously” (or near-instantaneously) take down unauthorized broadcasts, which has resulted in financial losses upward of $28 billion.

The current language in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), signed into law under Bill Clinton all the way back in 1998, has been criticized for being outdated and providing little respite for the social media age, non-existent at the time the policy was enacted.

“It should be no surprise that the notice-and-takedown regime established by the DMCA, which was enacted before widespread internet-based live streaming became available, is not well-suited to address the present-day particular piracy issues surrounding the infringement of live content,” the letter said (provided by Torrent Freak).

“The requirement to ‘expeditiously’ remove infringing content means that content must be removed ‘instantaneously or near-instantaneously’ in response to a takedown request. This would be a relatively modest and non-controversial update to the DMCA that could be included in the broader reforms being considered by Congress or could be addressed separately.”

UFC President Dana White has often touted his “proactive” stance on internet piracy, which first came to prominence back in 2012 when the promotion went head-to-head with the “expletive nerds” who tried to dox the Las Vegas fight boss (but got this poor lady instead).

“We’ve been cracking down on piracy for years,” White said during this week’s “Contender Series” press conference. “I’ve been talking about piracy for 10, 12, 13 years. We’ve always taken a strong stance on piracy and we always will.”

UFC pay-per-view (PPV) events cost $79.99 and require a paid subscription to ESPN+, which may have pushed more fight fans to seek out unauthorized feeds. Competing organizations like Triller have also faced their share of pirated broadcasts over the last few years.

Unfortunately for the entities seeking change, revising the current DMCA law would require an act of Congress, which — just like the ongoing fight against illegal streamers — is never handled “instantaneously” (or near-instantaneously).

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