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Fatality! Ultimate Fighters no match for live Internet piracy
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 20:01

From Ars Technica

Major League Baseball, ESPN, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship explained to Congress last week that live Internet piracy is hurting their businesses, and that the DMCA just makes it too hard to stop violators... especially when they're in China.


Fatality! Ultimate Fighters no match for live Internet piracy
UFC is no match for an Internet uppercut

Here at Ars, we bash copyright holder excesses on a regular basis, and with good reason—but there are times when it's easy to understand the siege mentality so many of the biggest media players live under. Case in point: last week's Congressional hearing about the piracy of live sporting events on the Internet. Not even Ultimate Fighting Championship can stand up to the power of the tubes.

"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," said UFC boss Lorenzo Fertitta at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. "There were likely more streams that we simply couldn’t find."

UFC says it's "potentially losing tens of millions of dollars in revenues because our content is streamed" through all sorts of websites. Fertitta didn't name names, but ESPN vice president Ed Durso wasn't as circumspect. He called out live streamers like JustinTV, UstreamTV, LiveStream, TVU,,, Sopcast, TVAnts, and as particularly egregious examples of the practice.

Some of those testifying admitted frankly that they don't fully understand where the streams come from (hacking appears to be involved in some cases), but that most appear to originate with users piping an analog signal into their computers, digitizing the stream with a cheap video capture card, then sharing it over "life streaming" sites like or through newer P2P services that can handle almost-live streams.

For the broadcasters, live sporting content is harder to police even than films and music, which have a longer shelf life. As UFC's Fertitta explained, "The value of our content is extremely perishable. A bout can be over in seconds. Even if the website takes the infringed content down within 15 minutes, the damage is done because the pirate viewer has already seen and extracted all of the value of our live content." [More...] [Comments...]



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