A 55-year old Leicestershire man has been arrested by British police suspected of illegally uploading an equivalent of 3,000 mixed martial arts and sports entertainment videos, the majority of which were ripped from megabucks global companies World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) which specialises in laying the smack down on copyright violators and illegal file sharers online arrested the man at his home yesterday and his real name will not be revealed until after questioning and if he gets charged.
TorrentFreak reports that they know the individual’s identity and offered this information to the police to help with the investigations. He is said to use the alias ‘Sir Paul’ and is regarded as “one of the world’s most prolific UFC and WWE pirates” (not to be mistaken with the likes of Jean-Pierre LaFitte, the swashbuckling wrestling gimmick of the mid-90s).
This example is piracy in the extreme but the story does highlight the fact that something is actively being done about illegal video sharing here in the UK and those who partake, even casually, should be aware they could be being watched by the law.
The UFC and WWE pay-per-view format is a highly lucrative business and the events can usually be found online illegally within a few hours of them airing live in the States. It does make it tempting for fans, particularly in the UK, who are unable to watch live in the early hours to hop online and easily grab a high quality torrent the very next morning.
World Wrestling Entertainment has somewhat combatted unauthorised sharing of it’s events by introducing its subscription based WWE Network which is available as an iOS and Android app as well as on games consoles. This chops the cost of the monthly $30 PPVs down to just $9.99 and membership includes access to an archive of 50 years of wrestling content and new original programming. The WWE Network finally made its presence felt in the UK in January costing £9.99.
The UFC also offers its Fight Pass for £5.99 per month also including PPVs and exclusives but is not quite as rich in content as the WWE’s offering.