December 17, 2009
Who knew? The internet is a deep, dark place and for the fighting sports it's a haven for criminals. Lorenzo Fertitta, the owner of the UFC, testified in front of a House Judiciary Commitee on Wednesday about the proliferation of illegal webstreams that steal pay-per-views.
AOL FanHouse reports that while speaking to the subcommittee, Fertitta said (15:00 mark), "Just last month, the broadcast of UFC 106 from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, had over 271 unauthorized streams with over 140,000 views, and those are only the ones that our anti-piracy team and consultants identified. There were likely more streams that we simply couldn't find."
Fertitta mentioned Justin.tv by name:
Justin.tv, was represented at the hearing by its CEO, Michael Seibel. Justin.tv maintains that it doesn't attempt to facilitate illegal Internet piracy, and that it works with copyright owners to take unauthorized streams down. Fertitta said he appreciates the fact that Justin.tv has reached out to the UFC, but he said he thinks more could be done -- and that many sites are illegally profiting from the UFC's copyrighted broadcasts.
Boxing is having the same issue and struck back last month at blogger, Eddie Goldman, who promoted how to steal the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight. Goldman, mistakenly or brazenly, sent an email to a Top Rank Promotion PR person:
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Jacqui Snow, our correspondent and the technical consultant for No Holds Barred, and a moderator of the very popular MySpace Boxing Forum.
In our discussion, we explain how to watch the November 14 Pacquiao-Cotto fight online if you do not want to pay the outrageous pay-per-view fee. We note why we have no problem using these so-called pirate services, which are all free, since the television networks and fight promoters, who get fat and rich from having fighters hit one another until they are too old to do so and are replaced by younger fighters, are the real pirates. And we do so with a No Holds Barred attitude.
Goldman was contacted by the Top Rank legal team. He was also suspended for a year by the Boxing Writers Association of America and will not be credentialed to any Top Rank Promotion fight cards.
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