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HBO and Showtime try to sue for pre-crime piracy

Usually when someone is charged with a crime, they’ve already committed it, but not in this instance. HBO and Showtime, the two premium TV companies set to broadcast the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match in a few days time, have announced their intention to sue the owners of two different sports streaming websites, which have claimed that they will be offering an illegal stream of the matchup.

The fight is set to be the most lucrative in history with some $300 million expected to be raised through its various tickets and streaming sales. In the minds of HBO and Showtime however, streaming sites will cut into that figure and they want to put a stop to them.

Pictured: HBO’s pre-piracy division.

As evidence in their complaint (via TorrentFreak) the two media companies pointed out that the homepages of BoxingHD.net and Sportship.org, both had highlighted streams that would have allowed a live and on demand viewing of the matchup once it had taken place. While both pages have since been removed, HBO and Showtime want the owners hit with legal action merely for the intent to supply the copyright protected content.

Initially at least, they want a temporary restraining order made to prevent either site from even offering links to other sites that may stream the content, but more than that, they are also demanding damages payments from the sites’ owners, for theoretically lost revenue.

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KitGuru Says: Even though the entire concept of taking someone to court for something that they haven’t yet done is a little ridiculous, the damages claim is even more so. It’s hard enough to argue that pirated streams can equal lost sales, but to claim that damages should be paid before an act of piracy has even taken is ludicrous. If HBO and Showtime win this case, it could set a worrying precedent where site owners could be charged for piracy just for providing a platform where it could take place. 

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