‘UFC Ripper’ Tool Can Download UFC Fight Pass Streams

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While streaming dominates today's entertainment landscape, unauthorized downloads of UFC fights are widely available on pirate sites. Interestingly, a download option is now available for UFC fans who legally subscribe to UFC Fight Pass. The feature is available in the software "UFC Ripper" and its developer hopes that Dana White will allow the tool to exist.

ufc-ripperThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has promoted mixed martial arts fights for three decades, turning the sport into a billion-dollar industry.

At the same time, the company has been fighting a battle against online piracy. Pirated livestreams and downloads are frequently used to bypass the monthly subscription fee for UFC Fight Pass, something the company is clearly not happy with.

While UFC fans can legally access fights in most countries, not all paying subscribers are entirely happy with the UFC Fight Pass service. One key issue is the lack of offline viewing support, that would allow people to rewatch streams without wasting bandwidth, or to view fights without an Internet connection.

UFC Ripper

To solve this issue, Mahesh Wijerathna, an open-source developer from Sri Lanka, created a dedicated tool that does just that. With “UFC Ripper“, Fight Pass subscribers can download fights to their devices, so they can watch them at their own convenience.

Mahesh is not a newcomer to ‘offline’ access. The developer previously released an offline version of The Pirate Bay, which gained a lot of traction when the torrent site suffered extended downtime.

UFC ripper is not intended to be used as a piracy tool, however. On the contrary, it can only be used by people who already have a paid Fight Pass subscription, purely to make the fights available for offline viewing. While UFC could see this as a violation of the DMCA’s “anti-circumvention” provision, the developer hopes it will be allowed to exist.

UFC Ripper

In a letter to UFC President Dana White, who is known for his tough stance on piracy, Mahesh stresses that his intentions are good.

“This isn’t a tool created for pirating your copyrighted content. This tool requires a PAID FIGHT PASS SUBSCRIPTION to function. This merely eliminates the need to stream a massive amount of data through metered connections every time you want to go back and watch your favorite fighters,” the developer writes.

Saving Bandwidth

UFC Ripper allows users to watch UFC fights without an Internet connection, while traveling, for example. In addition, it’s also a bandwidth saver, as users are not required to ‘waste’ any to rewatch a fight. That’s very welcome in countries such as Sri Lanka, where the costs are significant.

These bandwidth savings are also the main reason why the developer created the tool.

“The whole reason for me to create this tool is for my own need. I live in a third-world country that was destroyed by politicians. That made internet services more of a luxury than a right for the people of this country,” Mahesh notes in his letter to Dana White.

“Our internet connections are very spotty and extremely limited. 1GB of data here costs more than a meal. Imagine that.”

Dear Dana White…

dear dana

While UFC Ripper is intended for personal use, the developer made it available publicly a while ago. Recently, it was completely rewritten in the programming language Rust and several people have been using it since. The developer hopes that UFC’s President will understand his motivation and allow it to stay online.

No Fight

Speaking with TorrentFreak, Mahesh makes it clear that he’s not looking for legal trouble. If UFC comes knocking, asking him to discontinue the software, he doesn’t plan to put up a fight.

“If that happens, I’m gonna have to oblige because as we all know from previous incidents, Zuffa is an extremely litigious company and Dana White is ruthless. I would not get into a battle with those people.”

The developer believes, however, that UFC ripper ‘should’ be legal as it requires a paid subscription to function. UFC ripper only makes legally-accessed streams available for viewing without an Internet connection.

“I think it should be legal since we should be allowed to consume the content we pay for, offline. As long as nobody redistributes the content they download, it should be allowed,” Mahesh says.

How UFC will view this matter is not clear. The company does have various anti-piracy measures in place and may view the software as a circumvention tool under the DMCA, much like the music industry views YouTube rippers.

Then again, there are always technical and motivational nuances that can make a difference. All in all, the developer simply doesn’t know how UFC will see the app, but he hopes that it won’t be knocked out right away.


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