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Zuffa Sues Justin.tv For Turning A ‘Blind Eye’ To Online Piracy

Man, just when you thought Zuffa had given up trying to stop all the illegal streaming of their events they go and sue someone else. And this time it’s a big one. The UFC announced today that Justin.tv is the next target in their legal crosshairs for ignoring their requests to remove unauthorized feeds of their shows.

Zuffa, LLC (“Zuffa”), owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (“UFC®”) brand announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Justin.tv, Inc. (“Justin.tv”) for copyright and trademark infringement in United States District Court for the District of Nevada arising from Justin.tv’s repeated and ongoing failure to meaningfully address the rampant and illegal uploading of video of live Pay-Per-View UFC® events by members and users of the Justin.tv website.

For example, on October 23, 2010, over 50,000 people watched live streaming feeds of the UFC 121 Pay-Per-View event.  Indeed, third-party contractors hired and paid for by Zuffa, removed more than 200 infringing live streams of UFC 121 from the Justin.tv website.  This piracy represents a significant loss of revenue to Zuffa and its mobile, online, cable and satellite distribution partners each year.

“Zuffa has attempted to work on numerous occasions with Justin.tv over nearly a two-year period to encourage it to prevent or limit its infringing activities,” Zuffa’s Las Vegas attorney, Donald J. Campbell said. “Regrettably, Justin.tv has not only turned a blind eye to the massive online piracy occurring on its website, we believe it has actually induced its users to commit copyright infringement thus leaving Zuffa no alternative but to take this fight to the courts.”

They’re nothing if not persistent. I forget off the top of my head when Zuffa started this crusade but it’s a battle they’ve definitely been fighting for a while now. I’m not sure how effective it’s been (it certainly doesn’t seem like it), but they’re clearly not about to throw in the towel anytime soon.

For a little legal analysis on this case, check out Justin Klein’s post on the matter on his Fight Lawyer blog.

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