The New York State Athletic Commission, a regulator whose powers have been greatly expanded through recent legislative overhaul of New York’s combat sports landscape, has come under harsh criticism by Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.

Scott, who was tasked with scrutinizing the NYSAC after a heavyweight boxer sustained a brain injury in a 2013 bout at Madison Square Gardens, finalized her report this month. As first reported by the New York Times, Scott’s report made several critical findings of the regulator.

Scott’s full report can be found here – NY Investigation into NYSAC

In the 48 page report Scott notes

  • that the Athletic Commission Chair at the time of the bout “had received improper gifts from promoters
  • subsequent Commission Chair Thomas Hoover “engaged in improper conduct in obtaining benefits for a relative and friends
  • and perhaps most damaging of all that “many Athletic Commission practices, policies and procedures were either nonexistent or deficient, specifically those relating to post-bout medical care, tactical emergency plans and communication, and training. The Inspector General also found a lack of appropriate engagement and oversight by Athletic Commission commissioners and its char as well as potential violations of New York Public Officers Law by current and former chairs of the Athletic Commission

 

Adding to this site’s archived case summaries involving UFC PPV piracy awards, reasons for judgement were released this week by the US District Court, ND Indiana, Hammond Division, assessing damages following the commercial piracy of UFC 168.

In this week’s case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc v. Chapman) the Defendant displayed UFC 168 at a Lounge without paying the commercial sub licencing fees which would have come to $1,250 based on the establishment’s capacity.

The Plaintiff sued and obtained default judgement seeking $26,400 in damages.  The Court found this demand excessive and instead awarded the cost of the program and then further tripled this amount for punitive and deterrent purposes.  In finding this an appropriate amount of total damages Chief District Judge Philip Simon provided the following reasons:

Because Joe Hand has provided its rate chart for the program, I will award statutory damages in the amount of $1,250 based on the Showtime Lounge’s reported capacity. Turning to consideration of enhanced damages, §605(e)(3)(C)(ii) allows me to increase the statutory damages “by an amount of not more than $100,000 for each violation” if I find that “the violation was committed willfully and for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain.” Joe Hand provided an affidavit from its president indicating that Joe Hand’s programming “cannot be mistakenly, innocently[,] or accidentally intercepted.” [DE 14-1 at 3.] In addition, the Gunn affidavit establishes that at least 43 patrons were present during the violation [DE 14-2 at 1]. Based on this record, I find that the defendants willfully committed the violation for the purpose of direct commercial advantage or private financial gain and are subject to enhanced damages under §605(e)(3)(C)(ii).

Awarding statutory damages according to Joe Hand’s rate chart without any enhancement would only compensate Joe Hand for its subscription loss, “not fully divest the defendants of any profits derived from unlawfully exhibiting the program.”Estrada, 2014 WL 2609751, at *3. Courts consider a range of factors in setting enhanced damages, including: “(1) the number of violations; (2) defendant’s unlawful monetary gains; (3) plaintiff’s actual damages; (4) whether defendant advertised for the event; and (5) whether defendant collected a cover charge on the night of the event.” McCausland, 2012 WL 113786, at *4 (citing Kingvision Pay-Per-View, Ltd. v. Rodriguez, 2003 WL 548891, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 25, 2003)). Courts also consider the proximity of the establishment to an urban area, the number of screens displaying the program, and “the deterrent effect of the award, with an eye toward imposing an award that is substantial enough to discourage future lawless conduct, but not so severe that it seriously impairs the viability of the defendant’s business.” Id. (citation omitted).

While the defendants didn’t charge a cover on the night of the event and there is no evidence they advertised for the event or committed multiple violations, they displayed the program on five screens and served at least 43 patrons. Showtime Bar and Grill is also located in Gary, Indiana, a city within the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area. However, I am most concerned with the need to send a strong deterrent signal. By failing to appear and defend against the lawsuit, the defendants gave up the opportunity to explain how an award of enhanced damages might impair the viability of their business. Considering all of these factors, I will triple the statutory damages. See Tex. Indus., Inc. v. Radcliff Materials, Inc., 451 U.S. 630, 639 (1981)(“The very idea of treble damages reveals an intent to punish past, and to deter future, unlawful conduct.”). Tripling $1,250 results in a total of $3,750 in enhanced statutory damages.

(Update July 23, 2106 – Using this spreadsheet documenting reported MMA PED test failures to date, I reviewed all in-competition test failures.  The data reveals that athletes using prohibited substances in-competition won 45 times and lost 65 times.  Removing the marijuana tests from the equation skews the results a little but caught PED using athletes are batting below .500)

________________________________

An interesting debate arose on Twitter today among some people I follow asking for the science, or lack thereof, behind the belief that a user of illicit PED’s is somehow an inherent danger to their ‘clean’ opponents.

At the same time a worthwhile opinion article was published today by Jordan Breen on Sherdog asking the same question. Breen notes

The basic argument, of course, is that prizefighters’ explicit goal is to do physical damage to one another and therefore a juiced-to-the-gills fighter is uniquely dangerous to his opponent. The great question in these discussions is always “What if a fighter in the UFC died as a result of injuries in a fight, then his opponent tested positive for PEDs?” This hypothetical shouldn’t be completely disregarded; it’s a very serious question that is not beyond the realm of possibility. However, if you consider the deaths that have occurred in MMA, there is a common theme and it’s certainly not PEDs.

Breen goes on to discuss MMA’s fatality list noting that poor oversight, not PED’s appear to be the common thread.  It is worth noting that the conclusion that PED’s are not a theme in these deaths is not iron clad as many of these deaths occurred in an era or jurisdictions without PED testing or lax PED testing so it cannot be said with certainty whether PED’s did or did not play a role in any of these fatalities.

It is a fair point that poor regulatory oversight can lead to greater dangers to athletes than PED use.  One can look to MMA’s troubling and ever growing Rapid Exteme Weight Cut injury list as an example of this.

Nate Diaz likes to say “everybody’s on steroids“.  Perhaps not everyone but MMA’s PED list is an ever growing concern.  I count my self on the side calling for objective and sensible restriction of PED’s in combat sports with meaningful enforcement of these restrictions and further hold the view that if / when an opponent is terribly injured or killed at the hands of an illicit PED using opponent there will be legal fallout.

Considering the ABC appears prepared to clarify that the sport’s true judging criteria should be damage, damage, damage Breen and others ask a very fair question.  What exactly is the science behind the belief that a PED using fighter creates inherent dangers for a clean opponent?  As Neurologist Dr. Goodman of VADA notes, it may be difficult to obtain such studies for practical reasons.

Dr Gooman Tweets Re PED and Danger Studies

What we know is PED’s, by definition, create performance enhancing abilities.  These can include size, speed, strength and duration.  Injury is caused by force and I suspect a Biomechanical Engineer would be the best qualified expert to opine on the increased injuring abilities PED’s can give a trained combatant.

Physicist Jason Thalken weighed in with the following constructive comments

Thalken tweets

I have archived many studies addressing safety issues in combat sports but few, if any, squarely address Breen’s question.  I invite anyone to point to peer reviewed studies addressing this important topic.  I will add them to the below list.

 

 

Last year the California State Athletic Commission fined Alexander Shlemenko and handed him a three year suspension after “testing positive for steroids”.

As previously reported the regulatory hearing left much to be desired from a perspective of due process and objective fairness.  Shlemenko judicially reviewed the CSAC’s decision and in part succeeded by having his fine decreased and having the three year suspension reduced to one year.

Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien’s reasons can be found here – Shlemenko Reasons For Judgement .

Three takeaways are noteworthy, the first California specific, the second and third in a broader sense.

  1. The CSAC regulatory scheme does not require the commission to split samples into “A” and “B” samples. The Court ruled that “The Commission is bound to follow its own regulations and other laws, not the Commission’s agreement with its testing lab.  The applicable regulations specify that the single positive test result is sufficient to show a violation of the anti-drug rules and does not mention taking a “B” sample“.
  2. Due Process matters.  The Court held that the Commission was wrong in increasing Shlemenko’s penalty from one year to three simply because he insisted on exorcising his administrative rights.  Judge O’Brian stated “The Court agrees that under the circumstances of this case, it violated Petitioner’s due process rights to increase the proposed penalty by three years.  Petitioner could not have known that by appealing the suspension of his license he was reopening the issue of the length of the suspension.  The Commission does not cite any authority or precedent that would allow them to increase the penalty from the original term of approximately one year.  Indeed, a three-year penalty was not even discussed until the closing briefs on the penalty issue, and by that time Petitioner was unable to respond.  Accordingly, the Commission violated Petitioner’s due process rights by imposing a suspension that was longer than originally noticed
  3. The Court reduced Shlemenko’s fine on the basis that the CSAC  only had the ability to issue a fine for “any false statement made in application for a license” and they were wrong in fining Shlemenko for potentially false statements not related to his licence.  The lesson is that Athletic Commissions are pure creatures of statute and only can exercise those powers specifically given to them, not those that they would like to have or those that they should have.

 

As first reported by MMAFighting’s Marc Raimondi, the Association of Boxing Commission’s rules and regulations committee has released their proposed changes to MMA’s judging criteria.  These make it clear that, in a word, damage is what judges ought to look for.

Tracing the history of MMA’s current scoring criteria one learns that damage was always intended to be the key factor but regulators were concerned expressly using the word was simply too inflammatory.  Language was designed to pussyfoot around the reality that damage was key.  The new proposed rules seek to remedy this.

The new rules also overhaul the language of when 10-8 rounds should be considered and mandated.

The proposed rules are reproduced below.  It is worth noting that if the ABC adopts these at their annual conference in Las Vegas the current landscape will not immediately change.  The ABC has little formal regulatory power in MMA.  State, Provincial, Municipal and Tribal athletic commission will need to overhaul their own rules and regulations on a commission by commission basis if they wish to make these proposed rules a reality in MMA.

Judging Criteria/Scoring
 
The following is the proposed update to the MMA Judging Criteria. This criterion will work extremely well within the current 10 Point Must System of numeric scoring AND will also work very well if some form of numerical half point scoring becomes implemented in the future.
Proposed Judging Criterion & Definitions:
Evolve the Mixed Martial Arts Judging Criteria. Simplify the criterion to focus on the result of action (versus action itself). It needs to be stated that criteria is to be used in specific order and may not move from one criterion to another without the prior criterion being 100% even in the judges’ assessments.
In other words, Effective Striking/Grappling will render the high majority of rendered assessments. Effective Aggressiveness is a ‘plan B’ and should not be considered unless the judge does not see ANY advantage in the Effective Striking/Grappling realm. Cage/RingControl (‘plan C’) should only be needed when ALL other criteria are 100% even for both competitors. This will be an extremely rare occurrence.
Effective Aggressiveness and Fighting Area Control are back up plans, should the effect ofstriking/grappling be 100% equal for both competitors.
Criteria may not be mixed and matched to assess a result.
1. Effective Striking/Grappling:
“Effective Striking is judged by determining the impact or damage of legal strikes landed by a contestant solely based on the results of such legal strikes. Effective Grappling is assessed by the successful executions and an impactful/damaging result coming from: takedown(s),submission attempt(s), achieving an advantageous position(s) and reversal(s).
Top and bottom position fighters are assessed more on the impactful/damaging result of their actions, more so than their position.
This criterion will be the deciding factor in a high majority of decisions when scoring a round.The next two criteria must be treated as a backup plan and used ONLY when Effective Striking/Grappling is 100% equal for the round.
2. Effective Aggressiveness:
“Aggressively making attempts to finish the fight. “The key term here is ‘effective’.Chasing around an opponent with no result, impact or damage should not render in the judges’ assessments.
Effective Aggressiveness is only to be assessed if Effective Striking/Grappling is 100% equal for both competitors.
3. Fighting Area Control:
“Fighting area control is assessed by determining who is dictating the pace, place and position of the bout.
– Examples of factors to consider are: imposing successful position in the cage when fightersare standing separated, controlling an effective clinch or position for a takedown attempt,achieving and controlling dominant/semi-dominant ground position.
Fighting Area Control is only to be assessed if Effective Striking/Grappling and EffectiveAggressiveness is 100% equal for both competitors. This will be assessed very rarely.
Round Scoring 
10–10 Round
A 10 – 10 round in MMA is when both fighters have competed for whatever duration of time in the round and there is no difference or advantage between either fighter. A 10 – 10 round in MMA is a necessity to have for the judge’s possible score. It is possible to have a round where both fighters engage for 5 minutes and at the end of the 5-minute time period the output, damage, effectiveness and overall competition between the two fighters is exactly the same. It is possible, but highly unlikely. If there is any discernable difference between the two fighters during the round the judge shall not give the score of 10 – 10 
10–9 Round
A 10 – 9 Round in MMA is where one combatant wins the round by a close margin. A 10 – 9 round in MMA is the most common score a judge will make during the night. If, during the Round, the judge sees a fighter land the better strikes, or utilize effective grappling during the competition even if by just one technique over their opponent, the judge shall give the winning fighter a score of 10 while assessing the losing fighter a score of 9 or less. It is imperative that judges understand that a score of 9 is not an automatic numerical score given to the losing fighter of the round. The judge must consider was the fighter engaged inoffensive actions during the round. Did the losing fighter compete with an attitude of attempting to win the fight or just to survive the offensive actions of their opponent? A scoreo f 10 – 9 can reflect an extremely close round or a round of marginal domination. 
10–8 Round
A 10 – 8 Round in MMA is where one fighter wins the round by a large margin.
A 10 – 8 round in MMA is not the most common score a judge will render, but it is absolutel y essential to the evolution of the sport and the fairness to the fighters that judges understand and effectively utilize the score of 10 – 8. A score of 10 – 8 does not require a fighter to dominate their opponent for 5 minutes of a round. The score of 10 – 8 is utilized by the judge when the judge sees verifiable results on the part of both or either fighter. If a fighter has little to no offensive output during a 5 minute round, it should be normal for the judge to award the losing fighter 8 points instead of 9. When assessing a score of 10-8, judges shall evaluate Damage, Dominance, and Duration and, if two of the 3 are assessed to have been present, a 10-8 score shall be considered. If all three are present, a 10-8 score shall be awarded. 
Damage – A judge shall assess if a fighter damages their opponent significantly in the round, even though they may not have dominated the action. Damage includes visible evidence such as swellings and lacerations. Damage shall also be assessed when a fighter’actions, using striking and/or grappling, lead to a diminishing of their opponents’ energy confidence, abilities and spirit. All of these come as a direct result of damage. When a fighter is damaged with strikes, by lack of control and/or ability, this can create defining moments in the round and shall be assessed with great value.  
Dominance – As MMA is an offensive based sport, dominance of a round can be seen in striking when the losing fighter is forced to continually defend, with no counters or reaction taken when openings present themselves. Dominance in the grappling phase can be seen by fighters taking dominant positions in the fight and utilizing those positions to attempt fight ending submissions or attacks. Merely holding a dominant position(s) shall not be a primary factor in assessing dominance. What the fighter does with those positions is what must be assessed.
Duration – Duration is defined by the time spent by one fighter effectively attacking and controlling their opponent, while the opponent offers little to no offensive output. A judge shall assess duration by recognizing the relative time in a round when one fighter takes and maintains full control of the effective offense. This can be assessed both standing and grounded.  
10–7 Round
A 10 – 7 Round in MMA is when a fighter completely overwhelms their opponent in Effective Striking and/or Grappling and stoppage is warranted.
A 10 – 7 round in MMA is a score that judges will rarely give.
It takes not only overwhelming DOMINANCE of the round, but also significant DAMAGE that can, at times make the judge assess that the fight could be stopped.
Judges should be looking for multiple blows that diminish the fighter or grappling maneuvers that place the fighter in dominant situations with damage being inflicted that is visibly diminishing the losing fighter’s ability to compete

Today I had the pleasure of making an appearance on the Fight Network’s MMA Meltdown with Gabriel Morency discussing some of the latest legal topics in combat sports.   You can find the full interview here:

 

I’d like to thank Gabriel for having me as a guest.

For those of you visiting here for the first time after listening welcome!  For your convenience here are some quick links to the topics we touched on in the interview.

Mark Hunt Displeased and Discussing Need for Fighters Association

Potential Legal Fallout for Brock Lesnar

Frequency of USADA UFC Drug Testing

Jon Jones’ Press Conference Admissions

UFC Waiving 4 Month Testing Period for Brock Lesnar

Why PED Use May Allow a Lawsuit Based on Fraud

The UFC controversially used their discretion to waive the 4 month US Anti Doping Agency testing period for un-retiring athletes when Brock Lesnar returned for UFC 200.  Lesnar then reportedly failed 2 anti-doping tests in connection with the bout.  This has led to fallout on several fronts including calls by Lesnar’s opponent, Mark Hunt, to spearhead an MMA Fighter’s Association.

Perhaps with this background in mind, the UFC has now forced one of their new fighters, Emil Meek  to sit out for 4 months due to the disclosure of pre-contractual use of a substance that is “potentially out of compliance with UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy“.  New fighters are not typically bound by the 4 month testing window prior to competing for the promotion.

The UFC released the following statement:

“As part of the athlete onboarding process, Emil Meek voluntarily disclosed medical treatment he received prior to signing with UFC that is potentially out of compliance with UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy. As a result, Meek will not compete in his previously scheduled bout on September 3, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany in order to allow him time to consult with his physician and evaluate his medical treatment.

“Given Meek’s medical treatment occurred before his signing with UFC, he is not subject to any potential anti-doping violations under the policy relating to that treatment. However, UFC is requiring Meek to be enrolled in USADA’s registered testing pool for a period of four months before he is placed on a fight card in the future.”

As reported by MixedMartialArts.com, the UFC has released Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic.

Filipovic admitted to out of competition use of HGH shortly after being subject to USADA testing and earned the distinction of being the first fighter to be sanctioned under the UFC’s/USADA anti doping regime.  USADA hit Filipovic with a 2 year period of “ineligibility”.

Interestingly, the UFC agreed to his contractual release but noted that they have no power to terminate his USADA sanctions with the following press release:

Former heavyweight contender Mirko Cro Cop announced his retirement from the sport of MMA in November, and recently requested that the remaining bouts in his promotional agreement with the UFC organization be terminated. UFC agreed to terminate the remaining bouts in the promotional agreement, however, Cro Cop was advised that UFC does not have any power to reduce or terminate the sanctions imposed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Filipovic is scheduled to fight for Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN.  So what does all this mean?  Apparently very little.

The UFC USADA Anti Doping Policy reads as follows with respect to fighters competing while ineligible:

No Athlete or other Person who has been declared Ineligible may, during the period of Ineligibility, participate in any capacity in connection with a UFC Bout, or any match or competition sanctioned or licensed by an Athletic Commission, or participate in any capacity in a competition or activity (other than authorized anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs) authorized or organized by any Signatory, Signatory’s member organization, or a club or other member organization of a Signatory’s member organization.

Competing in RIZIN, with the UFC’s blessing in the form of a contractual release, will not violate the 2 year  USADA ban as it is neither

  1. a UFC bout
  2. a bout sanctioned by an Athletic Commission as Japan has no government regulation of MMA
  3. nor is the bout organized “by any Signatory, Signatory’s member organization, or a club or other member organization of a Signatory’s member organization

This move, while perhaps generous to Filipovic’s ability to earn a living, is questionable during a time where many high profile doping stories are surrounding the UFC.

 

The MMA Fighters Association, an organization which has struggled in securing the public support of active UFC stars may have just found their most high profile spokesman thanks to an unusual source; performance enhancing drugs.

In the wake of a $4 Billion sale, many fighters have been questioning their perceived value.  Movement for organization has been growing but, hampered by fear of promoter backfire, progress has been slow.

Now, thanks to hits to the head by an alleged PED using opponent, the MMAFA may have found the star spokesman they have been looking for.

Mark Hunt, who took a terrific bludgeoing at the hands of an opponent who the UFC allowed to have a Testosterone Replacemet Therapy Therapeutic Use Exemption in 2013 (ie a permission slip for steroids) has been none too pleased at the news that his opponent at UFC 200 has reportedly failed two separate tests for banned substances.  His displeasure amplified by the fact that the UFC waived the 4 month drug testing period for the returning Lesnar.

Hunt has now publicly called for a Fighters Association with the following comments published at MarkHunt.tv

The way I see it, the Brock Lesnar doping thing is just another reason why we need a fighter’s association.  These guys are just making up the rules as they go.

First the Reebok thing, then Brock’s 4 month testing exemption. Conor gets pulled off a card for not going to a press conference that me or Brock didn’t go to anyway. Work that out. There’s probably a heap of others.

You just have to look at how Ariel gets his media pass taken away cause he broke a story about Brock, then he gets it back when other media stood up for him and called out the UFC.  These guys are just making sh*t it up as they go.

Yet fighters refuse to support other fighters when they f*ck us over.

They say they are cleaning up the sport, yet I’ve risked my health two times against guys cheating since this USADA thing started. I was told Brock was gonna be tested when I took the fight, he comes in looking fricken juicy as hell and then I find out he’s popped after the PPV has already been sold.

It’s ridiculous. The fact that they haven’t even bothered to make contact with me since all of this happened just proves they don’t care.

I don’t even know how he made 265lbs that guy, he looked about 500kgs. I mean shucks, look at the pictures and tell me this guy passed the smell test that Jeff guy talks about. I mean even the other passport stuff, which is supposed to be important for testing, they woulda had none of that from Brock because of the exemption.

If you ask me the whole point of the four month testing period should be to make sure someone doesn’t pop back in, juiced to the gills, and beat the crap out of the guys who are clean and have been clean and tested this whole time.

I’m pretty sure all of this stuff is just there to look good for the sale if you ask me.

Once they decided they were gunna cut Conor out, they didn’t care, they just needed a name to make 200 big.  Exemptions for Brock but not for Conor, I don’t know how you can just do that.

These guys have lined there pockets with our blood if you ask me. I mean they deserve to get paid no doubt, they took the UFC from nothing into what it is today, but come on, most of the guys fighting, get paid nothing and have no benefits.

If you ask me there needs to be a system where they at least run things past the fighters before making these decisions and the fighters can look out for each other. We need an association where we can have our voices heard. We are massive reason why fans watch the sport and we risk our health to do it.

I’m not worried about the UFC, Shucks, I’ve been fighting my whole life. Fighting to survive in my home, to the ring and now cage. These guys didn’t even want me in the UFC but here I am. I’m not scared of them.

I’m not sure what its like in the states, but in Australia workers stick together to make sure their voice is heard. Lots of guys have talked about this, but someone needs to make this happen and I’m happy for it to be me.

I mean shucks I’m not an expert on all this, but me and my team have been talking to the experts about how to make this a reality

To the fighters listening to this I want them to get in touch with me via my Facebook page and we can get thing going. I won’t name anyone until we sort it all out, but get in touch and lets make this happen.

Adding to this site’s archived case summaries involving UFC PPV piracy awards, reasons for judgement were released this week by the US District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division, ordering a Defendant to pay $5,000 in damages for the commercial piracy of UFC 175.

In this week’s case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc v. Dalal) The Defendant operated a commercial establishment which displayed UFC 175 without paying the appropriate sub-licencing fees.

The Defendant disputed liability but the Plaintiff was successful in seeking summary judgement.  The Court found the appropriate measure of damages to be the cost of the program plus a further penalty of three times the cost of the program for total damages of $5,000.  In reaching this figure District Judge Susan Hickey provided the following reasons:

The undisputed evidence in this case demonstrates that Dalal violated 47 U.S.C. § 605. It is undisputed that the cost to Mirage for the sublicensing agreement would have been $1,250.00. Accordingly, the Court finds that is the proper amount of statutory damages. See J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Brewster “2” Café, LLC, 2014 WL 4956501, at *5 (E.D. Ark. Oct. 2, 2014).

The facts also demonstrate that the violation was committed willfully and for the purposes of financial gain. The violation was willful because “intentional acts are required to pirate a closed-circuit broadcast; the unscrambled airwaves or cable transmission do not just happen.” J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Diaz De Leon, 2012 WL 79877, at *3 (W.D. Ark. Jan. 11, 2012) (quoting Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Cat’s Bar, Inc., 2009 WL 700125, at *3 (C.D. Ill. 2009)). This interception was also done for the purposes of commercial advantage. Mirage advertised that the Program would be shown on both its website and Facebook page, and it is undisputed that there were approximately 40-60 patrons at Mirage. See J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Acevedo, 2010 WL 1980849, at *3 (E.D. Ark. May 13, 2010) (citing Entertainment byJ & J, Inc. v. Al-Waha Enterprises, Inc., 219 F.Supp.2d 769, 776 (S.D. Tex. 2002)).

Because the Court has found that the violations were willful, Plaintiff is entitled to enhanced damages. The purpose of these enhanced damages is to punish violations and simultaneously deter future piracy. Brewster “2” Café, LLC, 2014 WL 4956501 at *5. Dalal would have no incentive to cease the violation if the penalty were merely the amount that he should have paid for a sublicensing agreement. See Entertainment byJ & J, Inc. v. Al-Waha Enterprises, Inc., 219 F.Supp.2d 769, 776 (S.D. Tex. 2002). In awarding enhanced damages, Courts generally award anywhere from three to six times the statutory damages award. Joe Hand Productions, Inc. v. Feil, 2013 WL 2936389 (D. Minn. June 14, 2013).

The Court finds that the appropriate amount of enhanced damages is three times the award of statutory damages, or $3,750. These damages are appropriate given that Mirage was not filled to capacity, and Plaintiff has not shown that Dalal has a history of showing pirated events. See Brewster “2” Café, LLC, 2014 WL 4956501 at *6. These damages are sufficient to punish the establishment and deter any future conduct, while not jeopardizing Defendant’s business.