What’s the UFC’s end goal with Justin.tv lawsuit?

By David Nelmark

Zuffa LLC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship‘s parent company, recently has amped up its legal efforts against Justin.tv.

The site has allowed users to stream illegally pirated UFC events to the masses, and thus, bypass the fight promotion’s $45 and $55 pay-per-view fees.

So how did this fight come about? What’s the law? And is there an end game in sight for the UFC? MMAjunkie.com legal columnist David Nelmark tackles the topic and explains how average fans could be affected by the fight.

On Dec. 16, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled “Piracy of Live Sports Broadcasting Over the Internet.” Those testifying at the hearing included Zuffa LLC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and Justin.tv Chief Executive Officer Michael Seibel.

Fertitta testified that Justin.tv had “reached out to us recently to explore ways to stem the streaming of our pirated content. Reserving all of our rights to seek redress to the fullest extent of the law, we are hopeful that these new efforts may present a part of the solution to this dilemma.”

That “reservation” was apparently for Jan. 21, 2011. On that date Zuffa sued Justin.tv, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The complaint has 10 causes of action, all variations of copyright and trademark infringement.

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