$3,600 in Damages Awarded for UFC 157 Piracy by “Private Charitable Organization”

In the latest UFC Pay Per View piracy prosecution reasons for judgement were released by the US District Court, ED California, awarding total damages of $3,600 against the Loyal Order of Moose for displaying UFC 157 at their Lodge without paying the commercial sub-licensing fee.

In the recent case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Roseville Lodge No 1293) the Defendants broadcast UFC 157 on five of seven televisions in their lodge without paying the commercial sub-licencing fee which would have cost $1,600.

The Plaintiff sought $25,000 in statutory damages but Chief District Judge England found the demand excessive and awarded $2,000 in statutory damages and a further $1,600 for the tort of conversion.

The Defendant argued in part that no damages should be awarded because they are a private charitable organization and the Plaintiff only had rights to charge the commercial sub licencing fee to commercial establishments.  In rejecting this argument Judge England reasoned as follows –

Defendant counters that Plaintiff did not have the right to distribute the Fight in Defendant’s establishment because (1) Plaintiff’s distribution rights extended only to commercial establishments and (2) Defendant is a “members-only non-profit private charitable organization.” Def.’s Mot., ECF No. 19 at 4. Defendant made the same argument in a prior motion, and the Court rejected that argument. See ECF No. 16 at 5. Defendant has not provided the Court with any argument undermining the Court’s reasoning in the previous Order or otherwise established a genuine issue of material fact as to the first element of Plaintiff’s conversion clam. Plaintiff’s property interest included the right to distribute to Defendant’s establishment.

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