29 March 2019Copyright

UFC enters ring over bar’s MMA broadcast

The  Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company, has set its sights on a New Jersey-based restaurant in a copyright clash.

Las Vegas-headquartered Zuffa, which does business as UFC, took Titanic Bar and Restaurant to court earlier this week over copyright infringement.

In the claim, filed at the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark Division, UFC accused Titanic of unlawfully intercepting, receiving and/or de-scrambling a UFC event last year.

On April 7, MMA event  UFC 223 was broadcast, featuring a fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Al Iaquinta at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“Defendants ... intercepted plaintiff’s signal and/or used a device to intercept plaintiff’s broadcast, which originated via satellite uplink and then re-transmitted via satellite or microwave signal to various cable and satellite systems,” claimed the lawsuit.

UFC believes Titanic may have used taken a lawfully obtained box or satellite receiver from a private residence (which had purchased a residential licence to the event), into the restaurant.

The company claimed that recently emerging over-the-top (OTT) technologies, used for the delivery of film and TV content via the internet, allow users to obtain pirated material without subscribing.

It added: “The misuse of OTT technology can allow commercial misuse of residential broadcasting feeds through the internet from anywhere in the world.”

UFC has also named the restaurant owners in the suit and alleges that each of them is jointly and severally liable for of up $30,000 each and enhanced damages of $150,000 for their willful infringement.

The Las Vegas-based company has also requested other damages for interception of radio communications and unauthorised reception of cable service.

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