Latest Piracy Prosecutions Result in Hefty Default Judgements

Adding to this site’s archived caselaw summaries of combat sports PPV piracy prosecutions, two decisions were released this month by the US Federal Courts granting default judgement in cases of alleged cable and satellite theft.

In the first case (Joe Hand Promotions Inc. v SlackTV) the Plaintiff obtained default judgement against the Defendant for alleged satellite and cable theft.  The court assessed damages at $62,010 and in doing so the Court provided the following reasons:

On November 27, 2012, Plaintiff filed its complaint, alleging Defendants’ wrongful acts, which violated Plaintiff’s rights as the exclusive domestic commercial distributor of the transmission signal for certain television programming under Title 47 U.S.C. §§553 and 605, and conversion. On April 12, 2013, a Clerk’s default was entered against Defendants James Pasko and Slack TV, LLC, respectively. (Dkts. 17, 18). Plaintiff now moves for a default final judgment. Plaintiff seeks statutory damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II) in the amount of $10,000; additional damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(ii) from Defendants in the amount of $50,000.00; and attorneys’ fees from Defendants in the amount of $1,500.00 and costs in the amount of $510.00 relating to the prosecution of this matter.

The Court agrees that Plaintiff is entitled to statutory damages in the amount of $10,000; additional damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(ii) from Defendants in the amount of $50,000.00; and attorneys’ fees from Defendants in the amount of $1,500.00 and costs in the amount of $510.00. The complaint alleges with specific details and facts Defendants’ numerous willful violations of the relevant statutes. Defendants’ failure to appear or defend this action amounts to an admission of these alleged violations. Therefore, it is the Court’s conclusion that Plaintiff’s motion for default judgment should be granted.

In the second case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Serrato) similar allegations were made and again the Plaintiff obtained default judgement.  In assessing damages and costs at $8,610 the Court provided the following reasons:

Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion for default judgment (DE #16)is GRANTED, and the clerk is directed to ENTER FINAL JUDGMENT in favor of plaintiff Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. and against defendants Miguel Serrato, individually and d/b/a Miguel’s Mexican Fusion Grill, and Miguel Mexican Fusion Grill, LLC, an unknown business entity d/b/a Miguel’s Mexican Fusion Grill, jointly and severally on Count I of plaintiff’s complaint for $5,500.00 in damages, plus attorney fees and costs of $3,110.00, for a total judgment sum of $8610.00

 

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