UFC Piracy Investigator Accused of “Entrapping” Defendant in Piracy Prosecution

In my ongoing efforts highlighting the prosecution of UFC Pay Per View piracy cases, reasons for judgement were released this month by the US District Court, D. Hawaii, with some troubling allegations.

In the recent case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc v. Chalfont) the Plaintiff company, who has commercial licencing rights for various UFC pay per view programs, alleged that the Defendant displayed UFC 147 in a commercial establishment without paying the sub licencing fee and sued for damages.  The Plaintiff’s investigator claimed that “he observed a Dell computer “on the bar in the back” showing part of UFC 147, including a fight between Fabricio Werdum and Mike Russow“.

The Defendant disputed the allegations claiming that

  • No portion of UFC 147 was shown at the Tavern
  • That he suspected that the Defendant’s investigator “entrapped him by placing scenes of UFC 147 on the public computer Chalfont provided for the use of his guests”
  • that the computer allegedly involved was not capable of effectively streaming the program,
  • that the investigator’s pictures from the night of the alleged violation were actually taken at a later date.

Joe Hand sought summary judgement against the Defendant arguing, among other things, that

  • the opposition to the claim was filed one day late
  • the opposition used the wrong size font
  • the opposition was not double spaced

Chief District Judge Mollway found these arguments unpersuasive noting no prejudice arose from these technical deficiencies.  The Court dismissed Joe Hand’s bid for summary judgement noting there are enough triable factual issues to make summary judgement inappropriate.

It should be noted that none of the allegations of the parties (be it piracy on behalf of the defendant or entrapment or on behalf of the plaintiff) have yet been proven.  I will further report on this case as reported reasons for judgement come to light.

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