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The UFC is coming after teh gifs

The UFC has had a long and illustrious history of being anal jerks regarding their copyright, and I’m not just talking about the straight up pirating of their events. MMAJunkie.com and MMAMania.com used to be UFCJunkie and UFCMania respectively before they got a letter from the UFC’s lawyers asking them to politely hand over the domains. They also have a warm and fuzzy disclaimer under every picture on their website stating “if you violate our intellectual property you may be liable for: actual damages, loss of income, and profits you derive from the use of this image or clip, and, where appropriate, the costs of collection and/or statutory damages up to $150,000 (USD).” So maybe think twice about sharing any UFC.com pictures on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.

Now they’ve started to go after giffing. You know gifs: those animated images I use all the time that make Fightlinker look like a Harry Potter newspaper? A lot of those were made by a dude named Zombie Prophet at Iron Forges Iron, and just after UFC 147 he got a legal finger wagging from the UFC. Here’s what they sent him:

Dear representative of Ironforgesiron.com and Softlayer.com,

We are absolutely confident that the web pages through the links below are participating in contributory copyright infringement by embedding unauthorized videos in the form of .gif’s from UFC 147. Below, I have provided the URLs of the web pages on your website containing the embedded .gif’s displaying unauthorized video of UFC 147. Please remove all embedded .gif’s immediately.

My contact information is at the bottom of this email. I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Thank you,

EDWARD MUNCEY | VICE PRESIDENT, NEW MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY

What saddens me most here is the UFC’s vice president of ‘New Media and Technology’ spends his time attacking the people who have basically been doing HIS job for the past several years. The UFC has been worse than bad at promoting their product in new media – the majority of their work seems to comprise of sending copyright infringement notifications and lawsuits out. The one exception to the rule is twitter, and look at the success they’ve had there. Why they don’t embrace other platforms and formats like they did tweets is a mystery to me.

At a time when the old superstars of the sport are nearing the ends of their careers and the new kids are having trouble gaining traction in the minds of fans, you’d think the UFC would be excited that there are people out there giffing amazing finishes and creating highlight videos of their favorite fighters. As far as the UFC is concerned, it’s all illegal and must be stopped. They see no difference between someone posting up the whole 25 minute Wanderlei Silva v Rich Franklin fight and a gif of Rich Franklin trying to get his balls to drop back down into its sack.

I can’t defend Iron Forges Iron completely. To say they provide a fairly robust selection of UFC gifs does not do them justice – they gif nearly every significant occurrence that happens from every event, and I can see why the UFC might not be too happy about that. But even then, what actual harm is being done here? How many people are saying “F*ck buying that PPV, I can just check out the gifs afterwards”? Compared to how many people are sharing those gifs afterwards, talking about the event they just enjoyed, and showing new fans what they’re missing? That seems like exactly the kind of social involvement and interaction most companies would kill to have, and the UFC is actively trying to stamp it out. Giffing isn’t a crime, goddamnit. And companies that treat it like it is are stupid.

  • DanaBlack

    Yeah, the UFC are such jerks for trying to keep a site from profiting off their copyrighted material!

  • Reverend Clint

    sahould be like using a snipet of music… if the gif is over x amount long it has be shortened. and you are right the ufc are shooting themselves in the foot much like Metallica did after napster. They dont need to go after gifs since they dont detract any potential money, unless somebody saw a gif of guida running and chose not to watch a replay. how do you get a gif… after the fact.

  • fightlinkerReader

    “Yeah, the UFC are such jerks for trying to keep a site from profiting off their copyrighted material!”
    The copyrighted material is not going to prevent anyone from paying for UFC content.  As Fightlinker said, the content is only helping spread the UFC marketing.  Given the pros and the lack of cons, the UFC are jerks.  

  • DanaBlack

    Hey there random internet guy, to help us drum up interest for our billion-dollar company, could you show the highlights/finish from all our PPV fights within 5-10 minutes of the bouts’ conclusion? K? THX! XOXOXO

  • Symbul

    The UFC does need to defend its IP to keep it from being exploited. Not saying IFI is the devil here but it’s a slightly more complicated issue than just dedicated fans spreading the message.

  • Reverend Clint

    maybe mr. muncy should spend less time going after moving photos and fix ufc.tv

  • Letibleu

    Hey there random internet guy, to help us
    drum up interest for our billion-dollar company, could you show the
    highlights/finish from all our PPV fights within 5-10 minutes of the
    bouts’ conclusion? K? THX! XOXOXO

    I have never been called random internet guy. Kidding, I never have and never will use copyright gifs/videos/pictures from any source. Furthermore, I am the one who designed the UFC.TV site.

    1556 Whitlock Avenue,
    Jacksonville,
    FL
    32211

    Phone: (904) 997-0000

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Wait I thought the hardcores on the internets were insignificant?  Now they’re ‘absolutely’ infringing on their profitability?  It’s one or the other.

    No casual fan is watching GIFs instead of a PPV, but I can use them to show more people how great the sport is so they’ll watch a ppv. 

    It’s the only way I’m able to spread it around here since all the UFC marketing is unwatchable meathead whitetrash.

  • MadMan

    In my opinion, a .gif highlight of a K.O. etc., not only serves to inspire the casual observer to dig deeper into what they have witnessed, and potentially become a new fan. But .gifs also keep your product trending on websites that are frequented by your target audience. Is there a difference if the results of an event are read in text form, as opposed to viewed in .gif form? 

  • iamphoenix

    Really, unless you go to a UFC event, you shouldn’t even be talking about it. And even if you do, you shouldn’t talk about what happened afterwards. And even when in attendance, keep your god damned eyes fucking closed.

    Much like the NFL, “pictures or accounts of the game are prohibited”, the UFC should be kept a secret unless you already know about it. Revealing the results of fights are infringing on the fighters right to privacy. This isn’t facebook where all your information is a publicly traded entity.  

  • frickshun

    1st rule of UFC: Don’t talk about UFC. 2nd rule of UFC: Don’t talk about our PED abuse. 3rd rule of UFC: Buy each new installment of our video game. 4th rule of UFC: Drink Bud Light. 5th & FINAL rule of UFC: Learn our national anthem……
    O beautiful for spacious cage,
    With crimson bloody stains,
    For purple faced guillotined foes
    And their oxygen-deprived brains!
    Daaaaana! O Dana!
    Please shed his hair on thee
    And crown thy champs from supercamps
    O Motherfuckin UFC!

  • ButtHorn

    Lol.

    I haven’t paid for a UFC since 2003.
    And I dont see myself paying for one in the next 10 years either.

    But I think this is a great idea!

    They really do need to chase off some of these “ufc fans”.

    They’re so obnoxious.

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