NBA, NFL, and UFC demand instantaneous DMCA takedowns
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NBA, NFL, and UFC demand instantaneous DMCA takedowns

The NBA, NFL, and UFC are demanding faster Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedowns to increase revenue and protect their copyrighted content across the internet.

In a letter posted and obtained by TorrentFreak, the aforementioned American professional sports leagues urged the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to make the removal process for illegal livestreams instantaneous.

“It should be no surprise that the notice-and-takedown regime established by the DMCA, which was enacted before widespread internet-based livestreaming became available, is not well-suited to address the present-day particular piracy issues surrounding the infringement of live content,” legal representatives for the NFL, UFC, and NBA wrote in the letter.

Moreover, the global sports industry is losing an estimated $28 billion from fans watching pirated live streams, according to the sports leagues. Free NBA, NFL, and UFC live streams are quite popular among Americans looking to save money. Likewise, Europeans are facing the same situation.

“The rampant piracy of live sports events causes tremendous harm to our companies,” the representatives added. “This is particularly damaging to our companies given the unique time-sensitivity of live sports content.

“Unfortunately, UFC, NBAP and NFLP’s shared experience is that many OSPs frequently take hours or even days to remove content in response to takedown notices—thus allowing infringing live content to remain online during the most anticipated moments, or even the entirety, of a UFC event or an NBA or NFL game.”

NBA, NFL, and UFC are calling for “instantaneous” Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedowns to help boost revenue

The DMCA’s language in Section 512 is the most significant demand, which states that content must be removed “expeditiously.” The American sports leagues are aiming to change the wording to “instantaneously” or “near-instantaneously” to protect their bottom line.

“This would be a relatively modest and non-controversial update to the DMCA that could be included in the broader reforms being considered by Congress or could be addressed separately,” the letter reads.

As a matter of fact, enhanced verification is on the agenda as well. The sports leagues asked the USPTO to implement stricter requirements for live-feed hosts. However, this also includes blocking the ability to stream from new accounts or from profiles with few subscribers.

“Certain [online service providers] already impose measures like these, demonstrating that the measures are feasible, practical and important tools to reduce livestream piracy,” the letter reads.

The DMCA was first signed into law by Bill Clinton in October 1998. This law was established to criminalize the production and distribution of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works.

Furthermore, the bill penalizes those who attempt to circumvent an access control, whether or not there is existent copyright infringement. This applies especially for internet users, who are willingly violating copyright laws.

American NBA fans living in the United States are still required to pay for three streaming services to watch every game. YouTube TV is for viewing primetime games. Plus, NBA League Pass is for out-of-market games, and Bally Sports+ is to watch local games.

Additionally, NBA, NFL, and UFC fans rely on VPNs to avoid blackout restrictions. This is understandable based on the costs. YouTube TV runs $72.99 per month. Not to mention, FuboTV doesn’t even carry TNT for the NBA playoffs.

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