$1,000 in Damages Awarded for UFC 172 Piracy

Adding to this site’s archived posts addressing combat sports piracy, reasons for judgement were released recently by the US District Court, D. Arizona, assessing damages at $1,000 for the commercial piracy of UFC 172.

In the recent case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc v. Sizemore) the Defendants displayed UFC 172 in a commercial establishment without paying the Plaintiff commercial sublicencing fees (which in this case would have been between $750-$850).

The Plaintiff sued and obtained summary judgement although the Court declined to award the more substantial damages the Plaintiff sought.  In finding minimum statutory damages being appropriate District Judge Douglas Rayes provided the following reasons:

There is no evidence that Defendants charged patrons a cover to enter Sleepy Dog Brewery. (Doc. 47-2, ¶ 28.) Between 24 and 39 patrons were present, but there is no indication that the patrons actually were viewing the Program, nor is there evidence that Defendants advertised the Program or charged a premium for food and drinks. (Id., ¶ 27.) Based on Sleepy Dog Brewery’s occupancy capacity, it would have cost Defendants between $750 and $850 to broadcast the Program lawfully. (Doc. 42 at 37.) Given the lack of evidence that Defendants achieved “commercial advantage or private financial gain” from broadcasting the Program, the Court awards Plaintiff $1,000 in statutory damages and denies its request for enhanced damages. See Innovative Sports Mgmt., 2014 WL 1790943, at *3 (awarding statutory minimum and denying enhanced damages because there was no evidence that the defendants displayed the program for commercial advantage or private gain).

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. 41), is GRANTED. Pursuant to § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II), Plaintiff is awarded $1,000 in statutory damages. The Clerk shall enter judgment accordingly.

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