Daily Archive: December 5, 2023

Sports leagues ask US for “instantaneous” DMCA takedowns and website blocking

A basketball falling through the net of a basketball hoop

Getty Images | David Madison

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

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Entrepreneurs launch global media buying and marketing agency for start-ups

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A global media buying and marketing agency will be launched aimed at start-ups and smaller tech businesses backed by media executive Marc Boyan and Founders Forum boss Brent Hoberman.

Miroma Founders Network (MFN) will deliver services similar to those provided by larger advertising agencies, but tailored for entrepreneurs and high-growth start-ups that can struggle to afford help with marketing.

MFN will also target other venture and private equity-backed companies at all stages as well as small businesses more broadly, including with help fundraising as well as driving sales.

The joint venture comes as start-ups are struggling to raise new rounds of cash because of the venture capital market slowdown and uncertain economic backdrop, which has caused an increase in business failures.

MFN said that it would help small businesses and start-ups increase their marketing competitiveness. MFN will initially offer services in the UK, US and Asia-Pacific regions.

Boyan is founder and chief executive of UK-based Miroma Group, which owns a number of media and marketing groups including a tie-up with actor Idris Elba and a majority stake in Buzz 16, the content company launched in 2016 by footballer Gary Neville.

Boyan said that the joint venture was “uniquely placed” to support the market for start-ups. 

The group is expected to use relationships and connections through the Founders Forum, a group of businesses that aims to empower entrepreneurs, and through Hoberman, the founder of Lastminute.com, the online travel and leisure retailer, who is well connected in the tech world.

Hoberman said that MFN “will bring critical media-buying and marketing communications services to scaling founders who need a tailored approach, particularly as many navigate the challenges of today’s fundraising landscape”.

The company will

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