HBO and Showtime have beat copyright infringers to the punch. Just four days before the hugely publicized fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., the premium cable companies have teamed up with promoters, Mayweather Promotions LLC and Top Rank Inc. to file a complaint against, and John Does for offering free streaming of the Pay-Per-View event. The fight is anticipated to attract 3 million TV customers, which to watch legally would cost about $100. The fight is not authorized to be streamed on any website in the United States.
The plaintiffs filed suit in Federal Court in California, alleging copyright infringement and requesting a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction to stop the sites from illegally streaming the fight. While the alleged piracy sites have of course not actually streamed the match, numerous references to the fight were made on the websites via advertisements, videos and hyperlinks which if users click on, takes them to one or more “offers” that promote the goods and services of third parties.
Prior to filing, the cable providers sent Defendants multiple advance notices of potential infringement via email and overnight international delivery to Defendants care of the Panamanian privacy protection service used to mask the registrant information, but no response was received.
Judge George H. Wu of the Central District of California acted swiftly by granting the temporary restraining order, effective as of 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time on April 30, 2015 and expiring at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time on May 7, 2015. So to watch the fight everyone will have to pay the price.