Defendants’ Distribution Agreements Inform Statutory Damages Award on Default

In conjunction with granting plaintiff’s request for entry of default judgment, the court found plaintiff’s willfulness allegations improperly conclusory and reduced plaintiff’s requested amount of statutory damages. “⁠[Plaintiff] alleges that Defendants ‘knowingly, deliberately, intentionally and willfully copied and exploited the Protected Work,’ but provided no specific facts showing willfulness. In ruling on this Motion, the Court disregards such conclusory allegations and instead looks only to the well-pleaded factual allegations in the Complaint, along with affidavits and documentary evidence in the record. Considering only these sources, the Court cannot find that Defendants willfully infringed the Protected Work. . . . While statutory damages do not necessarily have to be tied to lost profits related to infringement, the Court enjoys wide latitude in fashioning an appropriate remedy within the parameters of the statute. Here, the distribution agreement provides some insight into what [plaintiff] anticipated making on its movies. . . . The modest costs associated with the production of 500 units of the film ($525) and anticipated sales targets, lead the Court to believe an award of the statutory maximum of $30,000 per violation, without a willfulness finding, would be excessive. Instead, a statutory award of $3,000 per violation per Defendant, will serve the purposes of statutory damages—to compensate [plaintiff], and punish Defendants.”

South Seas Pictures Ltd. v. Ken’s Island Food et al, 2-18-cv-00887 (CACD 2018-08-06, Order) (Otis D. Wright, II)

2018-08-09T11:55:02+00:00August 9th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|