The UFC is stepping up its game in efforts to deter pirates from stealing its content. Once targeting individuals and websites for tens of thousands of dollars, the industry-leader is now going after millions.
As first reported by the New York Post, Zuffa, repped by anti-piracy lawyer Julie Lonstein, is suing a New York man and other unnamed defendants for allegedly uploading UFC events to torrent websites on 124 different occasions.
The promotion seeks more than $32 million in damages and court costs, according to the complaint, which was filed Tuesday in New York federal court and obtained by MMAjunkie. Download a copy of the complaint (right click) here.
Zuffa claims Staten Island resident Steven Messina and his co-defendants also encouraged others to upload and share UFC content and solicited donations to aid the practice.
Messina, 27, lives in Great Neck, N.Y., with his parents, according to the Post.
The suit alleges Messina pirated the material under the screen name “Secludedly” and includes a list of illegally uploaded events stretching back to May 2012. Zuffa said the defendants bragged about their exploits, claiming to be the “Provider of Best MMA & Boxing rips online!”
Zuffa is asking for up to $150,000 for each act of infringement; up to $110,000 for each illegal use of UFC content; up to $60,000 for intercepting UFC content; and lawyer’s fees.
The Post was unable to reach Messina for comment.