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Florida Intellectual Property Attorney > Blog > Intellectual Property Litigation > Major U.S. Sports League Push DMCA Changes to Fight Illegal Live-Streaming

Major U.S. Sports League Push DMCA Changes to Fight Illegal Live-Streaming


According to a report from Bleacher Report, several major U.S. sports leagues—including the NFL, the NBA, and the UFC—are pushing for changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in an effort to fight illegal live-streaming. The DMCA is one of the most powerful tools to challenge copyright infringement on the internet—but these major sports leagues argue that it is inadequate to effectively take on the issue of unauthorized live-streaming. Within this blog post, our Florida intellectual property attorney discusses the case in more detail.

 Background: What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)? 

With more and more content being shared online, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is one of the most important copyright protection laws. The landmark 1998 legislation provides copyright holders with legal protections against the unauthorized reproduction, dissemination, and use of their digital content.

Notably, the DMCA provides parties with tools to get third parties to remove offending content. A DMCA takedown notice is a document used to pursue removal of online content that infringes upon a legally protected copyright. Copyright holders or their authorized representatives can submit a DMCA takedown notice to the online service provider (OSP) hosting the infringing content.

 Major Sports Leagues Argue they Cannot Stop Unauthorized Live-Streaming 

Major sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and UFC are pushing for more robust measures to combat illegal live streaming, which is currently sapping the global sports industry of up to $28 billion in potential annual revenue. These organizations have collectively reached out to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), expressing their struggle to curb unauthorized broadcasts of live sporting events. Among other things, they contend that the DMCA is too sluggish to effectively deal with illegal live streams. As a consequence, these sports leagues believe that they often cannot get illegally streamed content removed until after the game/event is already over.

The Argument: DMCA Should Be Modernized

 Acting as a collective entity, the leagues argue for a revamping of the DMCA. To start, they are urging that the USPTO offer a clarification in its language for more urgent action against illegal live streams. Beyond that, the sports leagues propose that takedown notices should be acted upon “instantaneously or near-instantaneously.” Why does this language matter? Under the current DMCA, parties have a duty to remove offending copyright-protected content “expeditiously.” The sports leagues believe that such a shift in terminology is anticipated to apply the necessary pressure for a swifter removal of unauthorized streams. The USPTO has not officially weighed in on the matter.

 Speak to Our Boca Raton Intellectual Property Lawyer Today

At Perkins Law, we are committed to helping our clients develop and protect their brand. Our firm provides a full suite of intellectual property law services, including trademark law, copyright law, and patent law. Contact us now to arrange your completely confidential case evaluation. Our firm is located in Boca Raton and we provide IP law representation throughout all of Florida.



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