In the latest combat sports piracy judgement, reasons for judgment were recently published by the US District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division, ordering a total of $9,510 in damages and costs to be paid for the piracy of Mayweather v. McGregor.
In the recent case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Cave Dwellers LLC) the Defendant displayed the boxing pay per view card without purchasing the commercial sub licencing rights allowing them to do so. The cost would have been $3,700. The Defendant also charged a cover to patrons who attended to view the fight.
The Plaintiff obtained default judgement of $5,000 in statutory damages $2,500 in enhanced damages plus attorney fees and costs. In reaching this damage assessment District Judge Bryan Harwell provided the following reasons:
Upon consideration of Plaintiff’s Request for Final Default Judgment, the accompanying Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support thereof and evidence, the pleadings on file and the relevant authorities, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has established that it is an aggrieved party under the Federal Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. §§ 553 and 605, and Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, and recognizes Plaintiff’s election to seek statutory damages solely under 47 U.S.C. § 605. The Court also concludes that it has jurisdiction over the subject matter and parties to this action; that Defendants Cave Dwelllers LLC and Joseph M. Stocco (hereinafter “Defendants”) failed to answer or otherwise defend as provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure following proper service; By virtue of their default, the allegations in Plaintiff’s Original Complaint are deemed admitted against Defendants; that Defendants exhibited the closed circuit, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Conor McGregor Broadcast, including all undercard bouts and the entire television broadcast, scheduled for August 26, 2017, without authorization from Plaintiff; that the record reflects the rate for commercial public viewing was $3,700.00 for seating of 0-100, and that Plaintiff’s investigator, Gordon Mooneyhan, observed 39 patrons at Defendants’ premises with a capacity of 60 patrons and that Defendants’ premises had multiple televisions displaying the fight, and charging $20.00 per person cover charge; and that Defendants’ actions were willful and for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain. Therefore, additional damages are warranted in this action. Exercising its discretion, and considering Plaintiff’s filings, the Court awards statutory damages of $5,000.00, additional damages of $2,500.00 based on Defendants’ willful violation, attorney’s fees in the amount of $1,500.00 and costs in the amount of $510.00.