Media lawyers say streaming the Joseph Parker v Carlos Takam fight on social media was a “blatant” copyright breach and those who uploaded it could face a fine in the millions.
Saturday night’s boxing clash between Joseph Parker and Carlos Takam attracted more than 100,000 views from Facebook users watching live-streams that had been re-broadcast unlawfully by people filming Sky TV’s $49.99 pay-per-view of the match.
Promoter Dean Lonergan has threatened to sue those who live-streamed for thousands of dollars.
Media law experts weighed in this afternoon.
“It’s a pretty blatant obvious copyright breach,” said Rick Shera, of Auckland firm Lowndes Jordan.
“The breach is in copying it from the TV screen and then as a separate breach in communicating it again. “
Mr Shera said the losses suffered by the copyright holder would be the basis of any damages claim and on the face of it, this could be 100,000 times $49.99 – nearly $5 million.
But it was unclear what level of proof was required to show an actual loss.
“Had it not been for the infringement, would 100,000 people have paid $50 to view it? The answer is probably no. The court would hear evidence on what the likely viewership would there have been and how would that have played out.”
Another lawyer, Kevin Glover, said the end viewers of the unlawful live-stream might also have broken the law, but it would be unlikely for a copyright holder to sue them
Earlier, Lonergan came out swinging against the “complete lowlifes” who live-streamed the fight on social media, threatening to sue for thousands of dollars.
He said those who posted the live streams were “complete lowlife s***heads”.
“If we can find who those people are we’ll be looking to bill them, probably in the tens of thousands of dollars.