DMCA takedown notices sent to porn sites on Zuffa’s behalf

August 26, 2013

It is well known that Zuffa is an aggressive defender of its intellectual property.  It found itself in an unenviable position as the company it hired to issue DMCA takedown requests issued notices to child pornography sites claiming that Zuffa was the lawful rights holder.

IP Arrow, the company that Zuffa hired to do this work is an anti-piracy company that represents over 10,000 of Zuffa’s copyrights. Its latest reported request on August 23, 2013 has it making takedown requests of over 131 URLs.  IP Arrow has been identified as a company owned by Morganelli Group LLC.

According to tech blog, Techdirt.com, “IP Arrow is issuing takedown links to files that appear to be child porn while making the claim that Zuffa/UFC hold the copyright to these photos.”

More from Techdirt.com:

Judging from the quality of the DMCA notices it’s issued, IP Arrow either has no idea what it’s doing or just doesn’t care. What’s worse is that its submitted links have been taken down nearly 100% of the time, despite the fact that its DMCA notices are loaded with content its clients don’t own.

The DMCA takedown notices request the online service provider (e.g. Google) take down the offending material and that it makes a sworn statement that it has a “good faith belief is not authorized by the copyright owner” and that the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed”  See 17 U.S.C. sec 512(c)(3)(v)-(vi).

Techdirt had attempted to contact Zuffa about these takedown notices but had not received response. It had heard from Lynda.com, another client of IP Arrow, which issued the following statement which we might assume may be the same position Zuffa would take:

…On our behalf, IP Arrow issues batch DMCA takedown notifications for links to directories containing our content. Those links often contain keywords designed to drive traffic to adult or illegal material in directories that happen to also contain lynda.com videos. Many of the URLs highlighted in this TechDirt story, implied to be targets of erroneous takedowns, at one time contained our files but no longer do.

It would be easy to conclude that the UFC may argue the same thing.  At one time, the sites targeted by IP Arrow – including the porn sites, had keywords which may have included Zuffa content.  Therefore, the takedown notices would not appear as arbitrary as it might seem.  Nevertheless, its hard to fathom that all of the sites that are being taken down contained Zuffa-owned material.

Payout Perspective:

Based on a look at some of the takedown notices sent out by IP Arrow, we may assume that Zuffa never held a copyright interest in any of the sites.  Moreover, from a PR standpoint, the practice of sending out blanket notices, especially to porn sites may look as though it is tied to these sites.  This is something it likely does not want to have happen.  What we may surmise is that these takedown notices were incorrectly aggregated.  Thus, the notices were likely made to sites that did not infringe UFC copyrights, another bad scenario.

But, the “whac a mole” strategy may have turned into a “excavate the earth” as IP Arrow is using a broad stroke in taking down any sites remotely linked to Zuffa.  Is Zuffa taking advantage of the system by issuing these notices?  Will this strategy show any results?  Or, will it just be a useless exercise in taking down sites that will “pop-up” somewhere else?

 

8 Responses to “DMCA takedown notices sent to porn sites on Zuffa’s behalf”

  1. aintitthetruth on August 26th, 2013 7:15 AM

    Looks like Zuffa has finally pissed off the wrong person. This is wrong, yet ingenius.

  2. aintitthetruth on August 26th, 2013 7:21 AM

    Oops. i read the whole thing. i just skimmed earlier.

    i can picture zuffa wearing a shirt that says “I’m with stupid”

  3. aintitthetruth on August 27th, 2013 4:48 AM

    The truth is stranger than fiction. I’m dying to hear bs explain this away.

  4. Machiel Van on August 29th, 2013 6:23 AM

    A little embarrassing, but also inconsequential.

  5. BrainSmasher on August 29th, 2013 6:33 PM

    So the UFC doped or tried to dope a few child pornography sites into shutting down or taking down content? Why would anyone care? Sounds like a good thing to me.

  6. aintitthetruth on August 30th, 2013 1:11 AM

    Alleged chimo sites. And the word you are looking for is dupe. sucka!! ufc is flexing on a porn site….how noble.

  7. jeff walsh on September 2nd, 2013 2:52 PM

    What a lame excuse to justify an embarrassing result. All porn sites have keywords linked to all sports because they are targeting their male demographic whom are made up of just about every sports fan on the planet. One, give it up the UFC will never stop the pirating and lets see some numbers that show since their noble crusade to do so how it’s effected their bottom line, my guess is it hasn’t.

  8. Rob on September 27th, 2013 5:29 AM

    Many companies fact copyright issues and UFC is not alone. On a daily basis, DMCA Solutions receives calls from a variety of companies who need takedown services. However, unethical companies which don’t do hand verifications will embarass clients and it didn’t have to happen. Copyright violation is a reality today but we at DMCA SOLUTIONS hope our competitors step up their game to avoid our segment from looking like SEO companies.

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