Sports leagues are urging the US to require “instantaneous” takedowns of pirated livestreams and new requirements for Internet service providers to block pirate websites.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 requires websites to “expeditiously” remove infringing material upon being notified of its existence. But pirated livestreams of sports events often aren’t taken down while the events are ongoing, said comments submitted last week by Ultimate Fighting Championship, the National Basketball Association, and National Football League.
The “DMCA does not define ‘expeditiously,’ and OSPs [online service providers] have exploited this ambiguity in the statutory language to delay removing content in response to takedown requests,” the leagues told the US Patent and Trademark Office in response to a request for comments on addressing counterfeiting and piracy.
The leagues urged the US “to establish that, in the case of live content, the requirement to ‘expeditiously’ remove infringing content means that content must be removed ‘instantaneously or near-instantaneously’ in response to a takedown request.” The leagues claimed the change “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.” They also want stricter “verification measures before a user is permitted to livestream.”
The UFC separately submitted comments on its own, urging the US to require that ISPs block pirate sites. The UFC said that a “significant and growing” number of websites, typically operated from outside the US, don’t respond to takedown requests and thus should be blocked by broadband network operators. The UFC wrote:
Unlike many other jurisdictions around the world, the US lacks a “site-blocking” regime whereby copyright owners may obtain no-fault injunctions requiring domestic Internet service providers to block websites that are primarily geared at infringing activity. A