Website Operator Charged with Illegal Streaming of UFC Events and Other Sports

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: The card girls wait to enter the octagon during the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the Manchester Evening News Arena on April 21, 2007 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images).
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
Joshua CareySenior Analyst IMarch 3, 2011

HSI agents arrested Bryan McCarthy of Deer Park, Texas, for illegally streaming NFL, NHL, NBA, WWE and UFC events.

McCarthy pocketed more than $90,000 in profits from channelsurfing.net by charging online merchants to advertise on the site.

HSI Special Agent, James T. Hayes said, “Today’s arrest is another step forward in the ongoing investigation by New York HSI Agents into the copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property rights.

"We will continue to investigate illegal streaming of programming on the Internet in an effort to preserve legitimate and creative business interests and deter others from engaging in online piracy.”

Preet Bhara, who is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, followed Mr. Hayes’ comment with the following.

“Brian McCarthy allegedly sought to profit by intercepting and then streaming live sporting events, hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet to make a quick buck through what is little more than high-tech thievery.

"This arrest sends a clear message that this office, working with its partners at HSI, will vigorously protect valuable intellectual property rights through arrests and domain name seizures.”

Channelsurfing.net visitors would simply click one any number of links to begin downloading the stream(s), and during the investigation HSI agents successfully downloaded portions of live copyrighted telecasts of multiple sports.

In late 2005, McCarthy had registered the site and ran it until the seizure. If found guilty, McCarthy could face the maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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