Showtime and Mayweather Productions have sued a website which plans to offer access to the upcoming Mayweather vs. Berto fight. The companies are asking the court for a temporary restraining order to stop 'anticipated' pirate activity before the event starts.
This Saturday, Floyd Mayweather will conclude his professional fighting career with a match against Andre Berto.
Thus far interest in the fight is meager, especially compared to the fight against Manny Pacquiao earlier this year. However, this doesn’t mean that rightsholders aren’t interested in clamping down on pirates who intend to broadcast it illegally.
Through a complaint submitted at a Federal court in California (pdf), Showtime and Mayweather Productions hope to stop a site which is promising to provide users with access to the upcoming event.
The website operates from the mayweathervsandrebertolivestream.com domain name and heavily advertises a live stream, but according to Showtime it doesn’t hold the required license.
Instead of earning back millions of dollars in investment, the suing parties fear that the website owner will now profit from showing unauthorized live streams over the Internet.
“The Defendants are seeking to benefit from this high profile live Fight by infringing the rights of Plaintiffs,” they write.
“Plaintiffs are informed and believe and on that basis allege that Defendants know or have reason to know that one or more third parties will obtain the infringing stream from their websites and will redistribute it through other websites,” they add.
These anticipated pirated streams will cause “severe and irreparable harm,” Showtime and Mayweather Promotions note, while asking the court for damages and a restraining order to prevent this from happening.
Among other things, the suing parties want to take control of the domain name so it can’t be used for any infringing activity.
It appears that the lawsuit has already had the desired effect. The court has yet to rule on the request for a restraining order, but the website in question is already offline.
Of course, there’s little that stop the operator from starting a similar site under a new domain name.
This is not the first time that Showtime has gone after alleged pirates before they get a chance to commit an offense. Earlier this year the company teamed up with HBO to protect pre-pirated Mayweather vs. Pacquiao streams. Despite these efforts, there were plenty of unauthorized streams available when the fight started.