UFC could go after viewers of illegal streaming web site
March 14, 2012
The Wrestling Observer reports that Zuffa is taking a familiar strategy in going after online piracy. In Zuffa’s lawsuit against illegal streaming web site Greenfeedz, Zuffa has obtained Greenfeedz user information which may lead to Zuffa going after the users.
Its alleged that Greenfeedz illegally streamed PPVs UFC 130 through 142. The web site has been shut down. As part of the legal action, Zuffa has obtained information of users of the web site which may lead to tracking down the users that viewed illegal streams of the UFC events on Greenfeedz. No action has been taken yet against any individual that used Greenfeedz.
The Zuffa strategy is reminiscent of rock band Metallica’s legal battle against Napster in the late 1990s-2000s. Metallica sued Napster for copyright infringement and as an offspring of the litigation Metallica sued three universities (USC, Yale and Indiana University). The colleges were brought into the litigation as Metallica claimed that the universities were complicit to copyright infringement by not blocking Napster on its campus computers. Metallica also obtained information on 335,435 Napster users which it requested Napster block from its service as copyright infringers. In its lawsuit against the three colleges, Metallica (and Dr. Dre, another plaintiff) included slots for unnamed students in its lawsuit which it claimed would add as defendants later. It could have took the extra step in suing the users but eventually did not.
We will see if Zuffa will follow through with suing users of the illegal streaming web site. Based upon Zuffa’s strong stance against piracy, it could sue users as an example. Similar to the Metallica situation, Zuffa hopes that the threat of suing end users will dissuade some from visiting the likes of Greenfeedz.