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Accused UFC pirate suffers from mental illness, can't pay up fines

An accused UFC pirate says he is unable to pay, suffers from mental illness, and is unsure what will happen to him next.

Published Wed, May 7 2014 8:38 PM CDT   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

After learning he's the target of a $32 million lawsuit from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), accused pirate Steven Messina says he suffers from mental illness and can't afford the significant civil lawsuit. The parent company of the UFC, Zuffa, is now seeking $150,000 for every act of infringement, $110,000 for using UFC content without permission, and $60,000 for intercepting UFC content, plus legal fees.

Accused UFC pirate suffers from mental illness, can't pay up fines | TweakTown.com

The UFC says Messina made money from the pirated streams, though he refutes the accusation: "Most of the time I barely had enough to cover an event's cost after donations and would use my own money saved from medication and doctors. In total, I've probably made no more in a year than $450-$550 in donations. But that just helped me pay for a few months of medical expenses, as well as maybe four or five fight cards. I always ended up paying out of my own pocket though, as I've had money from my previous job saved in my checking account."

Zuffa will continue to fight against organized piracy that streams its events, especially pay-per-view fight cards, and is currently interested in targeting websites that host the events. Regardless of what happens from this outcome, there are numerous ways to illegally stream content.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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