Zuffa Again Uses Copyright Act To Bolster Damages in Piracy Lawsuit

Last month an apparent new strategy was highlighted where the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC, is using the Copyright Act to increase damages in piracy prosecutions.  A second judgement was recently published utilizing this same strategy.

In the recent case (Zuffa, LLC v. Fizion Cafe) the Defendant displayed UFC 205 without paying the commercial sub licensing rights.  Zuffa sued and obtained default judgement with the Court awarding statutory damages of $12,250 under the Communications Act and a further $6,000 pursuant to the Copyright Act.

In commenting on damages being awarded twice for a single act the Court provided the following comment in a footnote

Although not explicitly mentioned in Judge Buchanan’s Report, it is well-established that a plaintiff may recover statutory damages under both the Copyright Act and Communications Act for a single wrongful act. Cable/Home Commc’n Corp. v. Network Prods., Inc., 902 F.2d 829, 852 (11th Cir. 1990)(permitting award of statutory damages under both the Copyright Act and Communications Act); KingVision Pay-Per-View, Corp. v. Las Cazuelas Mexican Rest., No. 99 CIV. 10041 CSH, 2000 WL 264004, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 9, 2000) (awarding $150,000 pursuant to the Communications Act, and $100,000 pursuant to the Copyright Act against the defendant restaurant for displaying paid programming without authorization); Spencer Promotions, Inc. v. 5th Quarter Enterprises Inc., No. C-94-0988 CW, 1996 WL 438789, at *8 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 21, 1996) (“Plaintiff’s are entitled to an award of enhanced statutory damages under both the Cable Communications Act and the Copyright Act.”)

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