The UFC is teaming up with sports giants NFL and NBA to take on illegal streams.
According to a letter submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Aug. 23 (h/t TorrentFreak), the organizations are working together in an effort to update the U.S.’s current DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), with the express purpose of having online service providers act with greater urgency when given notice that they are hosting pirated content. That is to say, they would like to see the content taken down immediately as opposed to within hours, as is typically the case at this time.
As it stands, the organizations claim that the current window of opportunity for illegal streams is particularly damaging for sports broadcasts, which are most valuable as live programming. By the time the streams have been removed, it is of little benefit to the rights holders.
The letter states that “global sports industry is losing up to $28 billion in additional potential annual revenue,” according to The Verge.
The DMCA was signed into law in 1998, long before the concept of live streaming became an industry standard. The UFC, NFL, and NBA argue that the current language is antiquated and ineffective when it comes to overseeing the current online landscape:
“It should be no surprise that the notice-and-takedown regime established by the DMCA, which was enacted before widespread internet-based livestreaming became available, is not well-suited to address the present-day particular piracy issues surrounding the infringement of live content.”
Specifically, the DMCA is being asked to change language that reads that content will be taken down “expeditiously,” which seemingly allows for the current live streaming window, to “instantaneously or near-instantaneously,” suggesting that the organizations would like the content taken down in minutes if not faster.
UFC President Dana White has long rallied against online piracy, proudly boasting that his organization’s efforts have deterred streamers from illegally broadcasting UFC content. He spoke about the letter after Tuesday’s episode of Dana White Contender Series.
“We’ve been cracking down on piracy for years,” White said. “I’ve been talking about piracy for 10, 12, 13 years. We’ve always taken a strong stance on piracy and we always will.”
A change to DMCA laws could have far-reaching implications for the entertainment industry and beyond. It remains to be seen if the Aug. 23 letter from three of the most powerful sports business entities in the world spurs government action.