Seven individuals have been found guilty of illegally live streaming one of Joseph Parker's fights, and more are in front of district courts around New Zealand as Sky Television and Duco Events crack down on what they describe as piracy.
New Zealand heavyweight Parker will fight Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr for the vacant WBO heavyweight title at Auckland's 10,000-capacity Vector Arena tomorrow, and both Sky TV and Duco will be keeping a close watch for further illegal activity.
Martin Snedden, the chief executive of Parker's promoters Duco Events, told the Herald yesterday that his company had increased their anti-piracy team to five. They, along with about eight or nine from Sky TV, will be be monitoring the activity around the fight from the satellite channel's Mt Wellington headquarters. Sky and Duco took eight individuals to court for the illegal live streaming of Parker's knockout victory over Solomon Haumono in Christchurch in July. One is still to be processed. None of the individuals defended their actions.
And Snedden said about another eight are in the gun for the live streaming of Parker's win over Alexander Dimitrenko in Manukau in October.
"This is a good result, I just hope the message gets out just how seriously we, Sky and Duco, take this unlawful behaviour," Snedden said. "We have a larger team than ever working this weekend to find anyone unlawfully streaming Parker v Ruiz."
The seven found guilty were ordered to pay a nominal damages charge of $100, plus costs of $2670 each.
Sky chief executive John Fellet said: "We believe that piracy is theft of copyright. We will continue to work hard to protect Sky's investments in all kind of content."
Porirua man Moze Galo was said to have attracted more than 20,000 illegal views of Parker's victory over Carlos Takam in Manukau in May, but Snedden said Galo was not one of those prosecuted or facing legal action.
The Parker v Ruiz Jr fight will cost viewers $59.95, and Fellet said those without Sky could buy it on Fan Pass "or go to a venue that is showing the fight - there are plenty of legal options".
A statement from Sky said in finding the seven individuals guilty, the judge also granted an injunction restraining any further infringement of the copyright work and ordered that each defendant must delete and/or destroy any copies held, including from Facebook.
Snedden said Facebook was increasingly helpful in thwarting the illegal activity.
He said about 300 tickets - many of which cost $199 - are still available for the fight.
Australian satellite channel Fox Sports is showing Parker's fight free as Aussies Jeff Horn and Shannon O'Connell seek to further their careers on two undercard bouts.