San Francisco – The creator of popular post-fight commentary videos on YouTube is demanding an end to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)’s unfair practice of sending takedown notices based on bogus copyright claims. The creator, John MacKay, is represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
MacKay operates the “Boxing Now” channel on YouTube, and his videos include original audio commentary and small number of still images from UFC events. While those stills are an obvious fair use—a lawful way to use copyrighted content with permission—UFC has sent five takedown notices to YouTube claiming infringement, and YouTube has complied with each takedown. MacKay has responded every time with a counter-notice, explaining the fair and non-infringing nature of his videos, and YouTube has reposted the videos after UFC failed to respond.
“My YouTube channel is a popular source of post-fight commentary,” said MacKay. “My videos are most often viewed in the days immediately after a fight, and when UFC has them taken down for a few days with these unfair copyright claims, I lose a lot of viewers and a significant amount of money.”
UFC also produces its own YouTube videos with post-fight commentary. In a letter sent to the chief legal officer of UFC today, EFF points out that convincing YouTube to remove MacKay’s videos may benefit UFC unfairly by reducing competition for post-fight commentary videos.
“Is UFC afraid of a fair fight?” asked EFF Staff Attorney Alex Moss. “It’s time for UFC to stop sending improper takedown notices for Mr. MacKay’s videos. Independent video creators have a right to fair use of copyrighted works.”
For the full letter sent to UFC: