Anyone with a camera and a computer can pump out their own web show using a live-streaming service like Ustream — the problem is, that also makes it easy for people to stream pirated content. That leaves the site liable, in some cases, for copyright infringement litigation.
Case in point: Ustream is getting sued by Square Ring Entertainment, the boxing promotional company owned by star fighter Roy Jones, Jr.; Square Ring alleges that Ustream didn’t do enough to prevent more than 2,300 people from watching one of its recent pay-per-view matches for free (per TechCrunch).
The suit, which is embedded after the jump, reveals that Square Ring contacted Ustream in advance of the event to help get preventative measures like a “take down tool” in place; Square Ring cites the fact that Ustream plugs rich media and video ads into its free streams as proof that the company made money off of the pirated broadcast.
Ustream responded with an official statement to TechCrunch: the gist of it is that the company is “serious about complying with the copyright laws and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)” — but that it ultimately believes that Square Ring’s lawsuit “does not have merit” because it’s protected by the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions.
Rival sites like Justin.tv have faced similar suits; in some cases, just the threat of legal action has been enough to get the live-streaming service to ban users from uploading or streaming specific kinds of content.