Sunday, September 25, 2022

Producers Of Michael Bisping Documentary Sued By UFC

It didn’t take long for the new documentary detailing the career of Michael Bisping to catch the attention of the UFC.

The documentary, simply titled Bisping: The Michael Bisping Story, was released in March and features contributions from a number of notable MMA figures such as Joe Rogan, Georges St-Pierre, and Tito Ortiz. “The Count” also serves as an executive producer for the film.

According to the report from Sportico, the UFC filed a copyright infringement complaint on Thursday, August 18 in a Los Angeles court due to the documentary’s use of intellectual property copyrighted by the UFC.

The UFC’s search of the documentary’s content appears to have been quite thorough, as the complaint contends that 24 different copyrighted works make up around 19 minutes of the film’s total runtime.

UFC Never Contacted About The Film

Canadian film production company Score G Productions was named as the primary defendant, although several other companies were included in the complaint.

The UFC claims to have only been made aware of the documentary “because Bisping himself . . . reached out to a producer contact at the UFC.” The contact subsequently “encouraged Bisping to have Score G contact UFC to discuss licensing,” which apparently never occurred.

It’s no secret that the UFC are fiercely protective of their content, so it comes as little surprise the promotion reacted so strongly if in fact they were not contacted regarding the documentary. Although the complaint does acknowledge the possible argument of fair use, it also makes a broad claim regarding the precedent that would be set.

Bisping was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2019. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“If Bisping is fair use, then any network, studio or producer could make a documentary about UFC, and devote most of the documentary to simply rebroadcasting UFC fights, interviews, and the like—all without permission from UFC.”

“The Count” joined the UFC in 2006 after winning the third season of The Ultimate Fighter. He went on to spend more than 10 years with the promotion and made history in 2016 by becoming the first UFC champion from the UK.

Bisping held the distinction of being the UK’s only UFC champion until just recently. Leon Edwards dethroned longtime welterweight champion Kamaru Usman with a head kick at UFC 278 to become the second fighter from the UK to hold a UFC belt.

What’s your reaction to the news that the UFC are suing the producers of the new documentary about Michael Bisping?

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