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UFC Sues New York Bar for Copyright Infringement

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is suing a New York bar for copyright infringement. It has been alleged that the Bryn Mawr Tavern II broadcasted the highly anticipated matchup between Conor McGregor v Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2016 without obtaining the correct licence to do so from the UFC.

The fight was a high grossing event; it achieved a record 2.4 million pay per-view purchases in the US alone. The UFC uses Joe Hand Promotions, a commercial distributor, to grant licences to broadcast events throughout New York state. The licences are granted on different terms whether that be for residential use or commercial broadcast. It is believed that the Bryn Mawr Tavern II acquired a residential licence but broadcast the event for commercial gain.

The suit that has been filed claims there are several ways in which a signal, intended for residential purposes, can be manipulated for commercial advantage. These include “splicing an additional coaxial cable line or redirecting a wireless signal from an adjacent residence into a business establishment…or taking a lawfully obtained box or satellite receiver from a private residence into a business”.

The UFC is cracking down on the illegal broadcasting of its events. In March 2019, it was reported that the UFC had sued a restaurant located in New Jersey for a similar action of broadcasting an event without a licence.

The UFC is seeking damages from the proprietor of the bar for infringement of its copyright, as well as its legal fees.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.