Zuffa v. Piracy – Expensive Lessons in Default Judgement

Posted: March 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Further to the recent discussion of Zuffa’s ‘successful prosecutions‘ regarding piracy of their Pay Per View product I’ve taken some time to dig deeper into the issue.  There are far more reported cases than have made headlines in the MMA media and the lesson is stark; Zuffa has a strong track record attracting high damages in cases of default judgement for unlawful interception of their PPV events.  For those interested here are some highlights of recent Zuffa intellectual property litigation:

Zuffa v. Bidwell – Zuffa succeeds in securing default judgement for unlawful interception of UFC 114 with damages to be assessed

Zuffa v. Pryce – Zuffa obtains default judgement for unauthorized viewing of UFC 130 and 131 and damages and costs of almost $12,000 being assessed

Zuffa v. Al-Shaikh – Zuffa obtains default judgement for unlawful interception of UFC 104 with over $10,000 in damages in costs assessed

Zuffa v. Black Diamond – Default judgement obtained with damages and costs of over $10,000 assessed

Zuffa v. Miller – Zuffa obtained default judgement for ‘satellite piracy’ with respect to UFC 121 – Damages and Costs of over $24,000 were assessed

Zuffa v. Holtsberry – Zuffa obtains default judgement for illegal interception of UFC 129 – Damages and Costs of $5,633 were assessed

Zuffa v. Parker – Zuffa obtains default judgement interception of UFC 130 – Damages and Costs of over $32,000 were assessed

Zuffa v. Patel - Zuffa obtains summary judgement with damages to be assessed

Zuffa v. Pohl - Zuffa obtains default judgement for unlawful interception of a PPV event with Damages and Costs of over $42,000 assessed

Zuffa v. Hassan – Zuffa obtains default judgement for unlawful interception of UFC 113 – Damages and Costs of over $17,000 assessed

Zuffa v. Carranza – Zuffa obtains judgement and damages against Defendant for selling “infringing merchandise”

Zuffa v. Kamranian – Zuffa obtains summary judgement for broadcasting UFC 123 without authorization with damages being assessed at $4,200.  This case was of particular interest as the infringing activity was simply viewing the event from an on-line stream (however this did occur in a commercial establishment which was important in the finding of liability).

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Comments
  1. […] good folks at the Canadian MMA Law Blog put together a list, and here’s a glimpse at […]

  2. Chris Parry says:

    Nine default judgements out of the dozen you noted. Of the cases where the case was contested, only one mentions an award and it’s not particularly high. I think the UFC is depending on winning cases where the other guy doesn’t show, getting the max amount they ask for as a result, and boasting about all the big money it’ll cost you if you stream illegally.
    In other words, it’s a ruse.

  3. EMagraken says:

    Thanks for your comment Chris, I agree, the lesson is that those on the receiving end of these lawsuits would be wise not to ignore them because Zuffa has demonstrated a strong track record in obtaining substantial damages in default proceedings.

  4. AD says:

    How is ZUFFA able to track these individuals down? I saw that in a post on mma.tv that they suggested these names were provided by streaming services that require you to provide them with CC information. However, is there a way they can track you down if you aren’t providing any identifiable information?

  5. EMagraken says:

    Thank you for your comment. Most of the above cases don’t deal with streaming but rather commercial establishments airing PPV’s without appropriate licencing fees being paid. It appears some of these are found by simply using the services of private investigators who attend the establishments and document the transgressions.

  6. Steve M says:

    It would be interesting to know how Zuffa tracked down the illegal streamers. It almost seems that these were bars, lounges, etc. that were streaming to their customers?

    Also, where were these cases? The U.S., Canada, Europe?

  7. EMagraken says:

    Thanks for your comment Steve. All of the above cases are from the US.

  8. […] my ongoing efforts to document caselaw addressing UFC Pay Per View piracy allegations, reasons for judgement were released this week by the United States District Court in San Diego […]

  9. […] my ongoing efforts to highlight legal action taken against those  accused of unlawful use of MMA Pay Per View products, reasons for judgement were released last week by the United States District Court, E.D. […]

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