UFC preparing for copyright violators for Rousey fight

November 12, 2015

Zuffa has sent out a reminder to media members to not post any highlights from UFC 193 until the UFC says so.  The message comes in anticipation of another Ronda Rousey “vine” ending.

The notice cites 17 U.S. Code section 411 which is an advance notice of potential copyright infringement.

Per the notice from the UFC’s Vice President and Associate General Counsel Dylan Budd:

“As we expect greater than normal interest for this event, we remind you [media member] that unless otherwise provided by Zuffa, LLC, no highlights are authorized for distribution until we distribute the approved guidelines.”

It goes on to note rather ominously that the UFC “will be monitoring compliance.”

The notice does not specifically name Ronda Rousey as the reason for the notice, but it’s clear from her past fights, that the short duration of Rousey’s fights have been able to be put on vine or other types of media (e.g. Periscope).  Many casual viewers and/or curious of the Ronda Rousey phenomenon just wait on social media for someone to post the fight without having to pay the $60 PPV price.

Rousey’s last fight at UFC 190 in August lasted just 34 seconds.  It was posted on social media within minutes after it ended.

We note that the UFC is promoting UFC 193 by showing UFC 190 for free courtesy of sponsor, Xbox’s Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Payout Perspective:

It’s clear that the UFC is gearing up for those trying to watch the Rousey fight for free this Saturday.  In order to do this, it is making sure that media members do not assist in the dissemination of the Rousey fight.  Clearly, if someone with a lot of followers on social media were to post the fight, it could be argued that it is infringement (there is an argument for fair use or First Amendment but that is for another day).  In the past, the UFC has worked hard to enforce its rights to PPV and gone after egregious violators.  From the notice, it appears that UFC Legal will be working hard to enforce its rights to UFC 193 which may mean no “vines” of Rousey-Holm.

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