As everyone knows by now, the UFC has been actively pursuing those who illegally stream their pay-per-views. And they’ve had some success with the lawsuits they’ve filed, so now a bunch of people who thought they were being slick hosting these little copyright-infringement parties are now in the hole for a pretty penny. But how much has the UFC been awarded in these cases?
The good folks at the Canadian MMA Law Blog put together a list, and here’s a glimpse at it:
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 / summary judgment 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. Pohl – Zuffa obtains default judgement for unlawful interception of a PPV event with Damages and Costs of over $42,000 assessed
As you can see, some of these defendants are out some serious dough. But while the number for damages varies, one thing is constant, and that’s how Zuffa won their cases. They’re by default judgement, which is what happens when one party ignores the lawsuit and doesn’t even bother coming to court to respond. In these instances, despite the defendant being absent, the judge simply awards a judgement in favor of the plaintiff (who obviously did show up), and the defendant is then on the hook for the amount of damages.
Usually, default judgements can be vacated if the defendant can show good cause as to why he or she didn’t show up in court (i.e., he was in jail, he wasn’t properly notified of the lawsuit, he’s dead), but that just means that the case gets a reboot and the inevitable court battle awaits.
Anyway, the bottom line here is don’t ignore any lawsuits the UFC files against you. Or you could just buy the pay-per-views, you cheap bastard.