By Sean Crose
“People will really start getting interested close to the fight.”
So says Joe Gagliardi, of G@G Closed Circuit events, which streams live fights to businesses like bars, restaurants and casinos. It’s about to become an active time for the man, for the Floyd Mayweather- Manny Pacquiao superbout is just days away.
Yet pirates, those who illegally swipe live streams, are about to become active, too.
“We will get more pirates,” Gagliardi claims of contemporary culture. Yet he explains that even when these pirates are, caught, it’s of little benefit to companies like G@G. Lawyers and the heavy bureaucracy of the legal system make the fight for fairness heavy lifting.
Gagliardi, however, has a job to do. “My responsibility is to protect the people who buy the event,” he says. “I’m just trying to protect my customers.” And it appears that others will help Gagliardi do that job this weekend.
According to The Guardian, “PPV cops – who are not real police, though one company says many former law-enforcement officers are in their ranks – will attempt to find bars showing the fight without having paid licensing fees.”
Perhaps these individuals can be referred to as hired guns. “If they help promoters nail establishments that have not paid,” The Guardian writes, “the companies (who help track down pirates) say they can make hundreds or even thousands of dollars.”
Indeed, Gagliardi is aware of the fact that he and others in his field are often viewed as the bad guys, as greedy capitalists who are keeping people from watching fights. As if that somehow makes it okay for people to take won’t doesn’t belong to them free of charge or legal obligation.
“We’re not the ones who stole the signal,” he says frankly.
Indeed, bars looking to show the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight must legally purchase the rights through G@G. What’s more, G@G is not charging a flat fee, but is charging per the capacity of each individual venue. While the temptation to break the rules may be there, G@G has numerous measures in place to battle piracy.
The company also has a bilingual hot line in place for people to call to report piracy. It has an email address in place, as well – in case people aren’t comfortable using the phone. Needless to say, those doing the reporting will be allowed to keep their anonymity.
“Our lawful customers pay substantial sums to properly license and promote our company’s events at their establishments,” G@G states on its web page. “We are vigorous in our efforts to identify commercial locations that injure our customers and we strongly encourage you to protect your valuable investment and contact us promptly if you know or suspect a neighboring business plans to exhibit an event unlawfully.”
Gagliardi makes it clear that those who pirate the stream are not Robin Hoods stealing from the rich solely to provide a service for the not so fortunate.
“I don’t really make a lot of money,” off of the events which enrich the sport’s biggest names, Gagliardi argues.
The Guardian states that some businesses go out of their way to hide the fact that they’re pirating streams. “Sometimes bar owners make it easy by advertising the fight on social media or on fliers,” the publication claims. “But others go into deep cover to show big fights. That’s where the PPV cops come in.”
There are actually companies out there which hire out PPV police to travel about searching for bars which are suspected of pirating an event. If a bar owner or owners is nabbed, big trouble can follow.
“Unauthorized commercial exhibition of the events we license,” G@G’s web site claims, “will subject violators to civil liability for actual and statutory damages in excess of $100,000.00, injunctive relief, legal costs and attorneys’ fees, as well as other severe criminal and civil penalties as provided for by federal copyright and state and federal telecommunications laws.”
While some may get away with pirating this Saturday’s Mayweather-Pacquiao match, those considering stealing the live stream might want to ask themselves if it will really be worth it when all is said and done. The law, after all, is quite clear on such matters. What’s more, breaking the law can end up costing the offender a pretty penny.
The truth is that ordering the fight legally for a bar or establishment is rather easy. Simply call G@G at 1-888-258-7115 or visit their web site at or http://ggboxing.com/. Modern technology makes the whole process run as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
Plus, it’s simply the right way to go about things. Watching a robbery take place in the ring is bad enough. Stealing from an honest operation is flatly unethical.
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