Every single day millions of people watch video streams on the Internet, but while some streaming services provide authorized material, it’s inevitable that others will offer illegal content too. So, when people click then watch a stream of unauthorized material online, are they committing an offense? According to an intriguing announcement this week, some illicit stream viewers may be about to find out.
While the Ultimate Fighting Championship is the absolutely pinnacle of excitement for some, to others its merely two almost-naked men rolling round the floor in a pool of sweat and blood trying to snap each others arms off. But whatever your take, read on, because something the UFC announced this week has the potential to touch everyone who consumes video online.
The UFC has a track record of aggressive anti-piracy action. They’ve threatened countless bars for showing both illicit streams and under-licensed deliveries of their events, and gone after numerous sites, their operators, and uploaders.
But for quite some time the MMA organization has threatened to expand its reach by going beyond suing those actually providing illegal streams to suing those who simply watch them. To be fair most observers thought this was just another of UFC president Dana White’s famous rants, but this week an interesting picture began to emerge.