Back in March, live streaming provider Livestream issued a zero-tolerance policy in an open letter to the industry. The Ultimate Fighting Championships wishes that other streaming platforms offered the same assurances right about now.
Pay-Pay-View events, like the UFC’s, have traditionally been high priced affairs that attract a loyal fanbase, but limits the appeal to more mainstream audiences. However, thats no reason for platforms like UStream or Justin.TV to defend their users who participate in copyright infringing activities.
With the increased ease of creating your own personal video stream, content owners and event producers are facing an increased challenge to their business models. To that end, the UFC is suing Justin.TV and UStream to provide the IP addresses and data on users who made streams of their event available for free, circumventing the $50 charge to legally get the event.
Just like Viacom suing YouTube over their copyrights, we can expect an increase in legal activity like this as entertainment companies attempt to protect their new models, such as live streaming concerts. Unfortunately, just like illegal downloading of music and movies, the industry is a few steps behind the technology and its early adopters who have come to expect that nearly any live event can be found – albeit at a shitty quality – for free on either of the streaming platforms.
We continue to support copyright holders in all of their causes. Technology providers and users alike need to step up to the plate and defend the rights of users as well as content owners in search of a sustainable business model as we continue to turn the old ones upside down and shake every last penny out of their pockets.