Friday, June 11, 2010

Zuffa Files Lawsuit For Alleged Violations of the Federal Communications Act and Copyright Act

On June 10, 2010, Zuffa LLC filed an action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (Austin Division) against Jason N. Jones and Aces Austin LLC d/b/a Aces a/k/a Aces Lounge for alleged violations of the Federal Communications Act (47 U.S.C. 553 and 605) and the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 501).

Specifically, Zuffa alleges that defendants allegedly intercepted the broadcast of UFC 109 on February 6, 2010 and published it for a commercial gain.  Zuffa seeks damages for defendants alleged "willful" acts. 

The complaint does not have much detail concerning the defendants, but it appears that they are a commercial establishment that, according to Zuffa, somehow obtained access to UFC 109 without paying a commercial distribution fee. 

Zuffa provides a number of ways this can be done, including, inter alia, using an illegal satellite receiver, splicing a coaxial line running to a residential address, registering a commercial establishment as a residence, and/or taking a lawfully obtained residential box into a commercial establishment.  Zuffa states that it does not know how these defendants allegedly received and distributed UFC 109 without paying the commercial distribution fee and that it needs discovery to figure it out.

I have had a number of conversations in the past with people who just assume a bar can pay the $44.99 (or whatever the PPV residence rate) and broadcast the PPV--this is obviously not the case as there are entirely different commercial distribution fees. 

I will continue to monitor.

Fight Lawyer