Two Facebook users, Darren Sharpe and Brett Hevers, could be facing hefty fines and possible jail time for using Facebook Live to stream the Green vs Mundine fight. The Green vs Mundine fight was a $59.95AUD pay-per-view event and the actions of Sharpe and Hevers attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers short-changing the broadcast company and then some. While the fans who watched the fight unfold on Facebook Live were elated, the fact is this broke copyright law and Sharpe and Hevers are in pretty serious trouble. Foxtel is the company who holds the copyright in this matter and they are expected to take action against the pair.
“The incident with Facebook last weekend is not just theft. It is a threat to the future viability of live events such as boxing and to the sustainability of the content industry generally,” a spokesman told news.com.au.
“The instigators of the illegal streams on Facebook were made aware that any online streaming of the event was not permitted and one has gone so far as to create a fundraising page in anticipation of his legal costs.”
“On the information presented it would be a reasonably straight forward matter as there has been the rebroadcast of content over the net, with no suggestion of approval,” he told news.com.au.
“A civil action would see Foxtel chasing compensation based on money lost or for whatever amount would have been charged for a commercial broadcast of the fight.”
Facebook Live has had a number of controversial uses as of late, a few have involved users streaming their own suicides and now breaking copyright laws. It will be interesting to see what sorts of rules start coming about for events such as this now that Facebook Live exists.
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