UFC Plans To Sue Individuals, Despite The Cost Being More Than Any 'Loss'
from the someone-want-to-give-them-a-recap-how-that-worked-for-the-RIAA dept
There’s something that just drives some executives nuts about the idea that someone might access their content “without paying” directly for it. We saw this last year when music industry execs kept saying they had to stop going to war against consumers, but immediately followed that up by saying that none of that mattered if they couldn’t stomp out “piracy.” It’s as if the second any sort of unauthorized use occurs, the entire “cost-benefit” analysis goes out the window. If it’s costing you more to try to stop unauthorized access, and it’s not working, and there are ways to embrace it that makes you more money, the solution should be simple: you stop worrying and start embracing.
Apparently that message hasn’t gotten through to the folks who own Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Perhaps it’s not too surprising that such a group’s only reaction is to fight, but when they even admit that fighting unauthorized access will cost more than any “losses,” you have to wonder how any executive at the company keeps his job. That’s a recipe for getting fired: “Hey, I’m going to undertake an action that will cost us more than not taking this action — oh, and it’s likely to piss off a bunch of our biggest fans as well.”
This isn’t a huge shock. Last month, a UFC exec was at that Judiciary Committee hearing about unauthorized access to live streaming sporting events, and played the role of the RIAA/MPAA lobbyists claiming “them stealers are destroying our business.” Given that, it’s no surprise that UFC is gearing up to go after both sites like Justin.tv and the individuals themselves. Apparently, UFC’s fight-first, think-later execs haven’t noticed how badly similar plans have backfired. Most of the streaming websites have pretty strong DMCA safe harbor protections, and suing users hasn’t worked out particularly well for the RIAA. Furthermore, pissing off your fans? Yeah, not such a hot move.
Meanwhile, the Torrentfreak article above does a really nice job breaking down just how many people willingly pay huge sums to watch UFC events on Pay-Per-View, and how that number keeps on growing. There was apparently a dip in a recent fight, but TF notes that it probably had more to do with one of the headlining fighters having to back out. What does become clear is that UFC has no problem convincing huge numbers of people to pay up huge amounts to watch its events. Pissing off a lot of fans with ridiculous lawsuits doesn’t make anyone more likely to buy.
Hell, even Joe Rogan, the comedian (and notorious hater of “joke stealers”) who also acts as commentator for UFC seems to think this is a bad idea, saying: “I think that kind of stifles innovation. It stifles the direction the internet is going. I like things being out there. I think people are always going to buy UFC pay-per-views. You’re going to get a much better experience watching it on your television than all stretched out looking fuzzy and pixilated. They’re trying to protect their money, but the internet is a strange animal.”