As the UFC continues to bang the drum for law-raping their fans who watch illegal streams, sites outside the MMA blogosphere are starting to pay attention. TorrentFreak talks to first amendment attorney Marc Randazza to get a non-Zuffa lawyer’s thoughts on the situation:
“I have a very hard time finding a theory of liability for someone who merely watched an illegal broadcast. That’s like saying if a bar was illegally publicly presenting a movie or an NFL game, that everyone in the bar would be liable,” Randazza told TorrentFreak.
“My guess is that the UFC’s attorneys will not really go after people who merely watched the fights. They may, however, use the data they gather in order to find out if any of those people were re-distributing it,” Randazza adds.
Although it seems unlikely that the UFC will carry through with their threat to sue stream viewers, if they do they can expect opposition.
“If they’re really going after people for merely watching an illegal stream, I’d defend that case free of charge,” Randazza told TorrentFreak. “That’s not the right thing to do.”
I don’t know how it ‘seems unlikely’ that the UFC is moving ahead on this. They’re sending out press releases and making their legal counsel available for interviews on the subject. While it’s clear they’re trying to send a message to the community to stop streaming goddamnit, following all this up without actually suing someone isn’t really going to make that point. And if you know anything about the UFC, you’d know they love whipping out their massive legal dong and smacking people with it whenever the opportunity arises.
It’s also interesting that Randazza thinks suing people who watch illegal streams is ‘not the right thing to do’, considering his involvement in suing people who download gay porn over bittorrent:
CorbinFisher.com, the gay porn studio threatening to sue illegal file sharers, doesn’t seem too concerned that its lawsuits against some 40,000 so-far-anonymous BitTorrent users might out closeted gay teens who live in violent homophobic households. In response to one person’s email to the company expressing disdain, CorbinFisher’s counsel Marc Randazza, a First Amendment attorney, writes, “Liberty Media produces straight content too. So any thieving little sh*t who gets caught can very easily lie to his parents that he was looking at straight porn.”
Randazza could teach the UFC a few things about how to turn this whole legal gangbang into a profitable endeavor: find proof of infringement, send a demand to ‘settle’ the issue for a couple thousand dollars, and use their unlimited legal resources to annihilate the poor bastards who don’t pay up.