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02 July 2017

Jeff Horn vs Manny Pacquiao fight streamed on Facebook Live

 

Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao.

SEVERAL social media users were quickly shut down as they attempted to broadcast the blockbuster fight between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao using Facebook Live.

Foxtel’s Main Event channel held the rights to the fight, and charged customers a one-off payment of $59.95 to watch it. But during the bout, a number of streams popped up on Facebook broadcasting it for free.

Foxtel says it acted quickly, with Facebook’s help, to quash the illegal streams.

“Foxtel was pleased that there were very few instances of people trying to illegally stream the fight and that all of these were quickly shut down by us or with assistance from Facebook,” a Foxtel spokesman told news.com.au.

“We will examine these cases and consider any further action, but no decision has been taken about that at this time. We are confident that Australians are becoming increasingly aware that illegal streaming of these events only hurts fans in the long term.”

News.com.au has also approached Facebook for comment.

A Facebook search shows several streams of the Horn vs Pacquiao fight.

A Facebook search shows several streams of the Horn vs Pacquiao fight.Source:Facebook

One of the Facebook Live streams in question.

One of the Facebook Live streams in question.Source:Facebook

If this situation sounds familiar, that’s because almost the exact same thing has happened before. In February, two men were forced to apologise after illegally broadcasting the fight between Anthony Mundine and Danny Green to hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Those streamers faced fines of up to $60,000 or five years in jail, as Foxtel threatened to take action against them.

One of the men, Darren Sharpe, then posted a public apology on Facebook.

“Last Friday I streamed Foxtel’s broadcast of Mundine v Green 2 fight via my Facebook page to thousands of people. I know that this was illegal and the wrong thing to do,” he wrote.

“Foxtel and the event promoters invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the fight and to broadcast it. I unreservedly apologise to Anthony Mundine and Danny Green, to the boxing community, to Foxtel, to the event promoters and to everyone out there who did the right thing and paid to view the fight. It was wrong and I apologise.”

Brett Hevers, another of the culprits, posted a similar apology on his own page.

“I unreservedly apologise to Anthony Mundine and Danny Green, to the boxing community, to Foxtel, to the event promoters and to everyone out there who did the right thing and paid to view the fight. It was piracy, and I’m sorry,” he wrote.

Another livestream of Pacquiao and Horn.

Another livestream of Pacquiao and Horn.Source:Facebook

At the time, Foxtel confirmed it had contacted both Mr Sharpe and Mr Hevers to express its disappointment.

“Rather than immediately taking legal action, as a first step we want to take the opportunity to educate both of them about the significant harm such actions bring to the production of local Australian content, including live sports,” a Foxtel spokesman told news.com.au.

“We have given the individuals the opportunity to formally apologise via a public social media post, acknowledging the gravity of the situation, in the hopes that more people will learn that copyright theft is not a victimless crime and something that should be taken very seriously.”

The spokesman added the effects of breaching content copyright was more widespread than people might expect.

“Illegal streaming and file sharing of any kind impacts not only the viability of the entire content industry, but also the thousands of people employed by it, including athletes, actors, technicians, editors, caterers, set designers and more, who depend on copyright laws being respected in order to protect their livelihood,” he said.

“In addition, if revenue opportunities are undermined sports fans will suffer as sports presenters and promoters will have difficulty affording the costs of staging these fights and other events.”

Another of the Facebook Live streams.

Another of the Facebook Live streams.Source:Facebook

There were quite a few different livestreams.

There were quite a few different livestreams.Source:Facebook

Facebook, meanwhile, claimed to already have protections against copyrighted material being broadcast through its platform.

“As more people watch and share live video on Facebook, we’ve taken steps to ensure that Rights Manager protects live video streams as well,” a Facebook spokesman told Mashable.

“Video publishers and media companies can also provide reference streams of live content so that we can check live video on Facebook against those reference streams in real time.”

News Corp Australia, the publisher of this website, is a 50 per cent owner of Foxtel.

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