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In brief: The UFC, NBA, and NFL are asking the US government to do more to address pirated live streams of sports by shutting them down instantaneously or near-instantaneously. There is also a request for ISPs to block pirate sites that are usually based outside of the United States.
TorrentFreak reports that The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the National Basketball Association, and the National Football League sent a letter to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) complaining that DMCA takedowns are ineffective against unauthorized streams.
While Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 does require takedown notices to be processed "expeditiously," the sports leagues argue that the relatively short amount of time a sports event is broadcast means that by the time an online service provider responds to the DMCA, which can take hours or even days, the illegal stream has already finished or nearly finished. As such, the UFC, NBA, and NFL want the word "expeditiously" changed to "instantaneously or near-instantaneously."
"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," states the letter, dated August 23.
The leagues also want stricter verification measures before a user is permitted to livestream, including blocking the ability to stream from newly created accounts or those with a small number of subscribers. People who use their smartphones to livestream sports by capturing footage from a TV are mentioned specifically.
The UFC submitted comments separately urging the US to require that ISPs block pirate sites. The organization said that these sites don't respond to takedown requests as they are usually outside of the US, leaving ISP-blocking as the best solution.
The letter states that the global sports industry loses $28 billion in additional potential annual revenue as those who view illegal streams tend to continue watching them rather than switching to a paid stream or subscription service.
Even if the DMCA is altered to appease the leagues' wishes, it will be a very long process that requires Congress to pass a law, so don't expect anything to change soon.