When it comes to anti-piracy action, the last couple of years have been busy ones for the UFC. Through legal pressure the organization took down several sites offering unauthorized streams in the first half of 2010 and in July announced that it had reached settlements with 500 infringers.
UFC parent company Zuffa then subpoenaed two hugely popular streaming video sites, Justin.tv and Ustream.tv, to force them to hand over the identities of users who uploaded two UFC events earlier this year.
Continuing with its never-ending battle against piracy, this week another site felt the presence of UFC’s legal team, but saw it employing a slightly different strategy than it has used in the past.
Wrestle-Zone.net, which celebrated 3 years online on 21st October, is an indexing site which links to streams of UFC events and other MMA / wrestling related download links. Not to mention plenty of soccer.
On August 7th, UFC lawyers contacted Domains By Proxy, the shielding service used by the 25,000 member Wrestle Zone, demanding that they hand over the site owner’s details so that they could sue him.
“But to their disappointment me being a Pakistani made them cry,” Wrestle Zone admin EvilGenius told TorrentFreak. “I was given 5 days to comply but nothing happened.”
But the world’s biggest MMA outfit weren’t through. This week, UFC lawyers contacted NetDirekt, the German ISP of Wrestle Zone.
“Please see the attached letter that provides notice of copyright and trademark infringement at domain name http://www.wrestle-zone.net/,” NetDirekt told Wrestle Zone in an email.
“We request your assistance in protecting Zuffa, Inc and Ultimate Fighting Championship’s intellectual property rights by removing the protected content from your website and to cease and desist from ever streaming Zuffa’s pay-per-view events again.”
TorrentFreak has obtained a copy of the two page complaint (below the article).
EvilGenius responded by explaining that his site is only an indexing site, but NetDirekt weren’t sympathetic. They told him that “linking is illegal in Germany” and promptly null-routed the site. Eventually NetDirekt allowed Wrestle-Zone to put up a temporary page.
“We have been forced to pack our bags and depart from our current host. UFC launched some complaints and host took me down,” said the notice.
“Message to who it concerns – You think i’m scared?”
EvilGenius told us yesterday that he’d already paid for new servers in Sweden and would be back shortly. Indeed, the site is now back up and fully operational. Time will tell if UFC pursue the site’s new host.
This latest action comes after it was revealed last month that the UFC were pursuing a British man who ran the sites Livevss.tv and Livevss.net which carried a stream of September’s UFC 119 event. UFC also sought an injunction to stop him streaming UFC 120 last month.
UFC claimed that by having advertising on the site, owner Daniel Wallace was making money from the illicit streams and on this basis demanded $150,000 per infringement, the same amount being claimed from Wrestle-Zone.