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Sunday, September 19th, 2021
Overview

Overview

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by April 16, 2021 Business

In an action in which a closed-circuit distributor of sports programming alleged violation of 47 U.S.C.S. §§ 553(a) and 605(a) by the owner of a sports bar who broadcast a boxing match without a licence, a magistrate judge found that the Eitel factors weighed in favor of the distributor’s application for default judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 55. The magistrate also found that an award of statutory damages in the amount of $10,000 and enhanced statutory damages in the amount of $25,000 was proper because the program was broadcasted to enhance the bar’s business and such conduct was willful. Appellant was represented by a business lawyer.

Outcome

Previously filed Findings and Recommendations vacated. Magistrate recommended that motion for default judgment be granted and that statutory and enhanced damages be awarded.

Overview

The distributor brought an action against defendants for violating the Federal Communications Act, 47 U.S.C.S. § 605, by intercepting and distributing a television program without authorization. The distributor was entitled to a default judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) because defendants were properly served with the complaint and the request for a default judgment, but failed to respond. Damages to the distributor were based on the fact that defendants displayed the pirated broadcast on six, large televisions to a total of between approximately 13 and 17 patrons.

Outcome

The magistrate recommended that the distributor’s motion for a default judgment be granted. The magistrate recommended that judgment be entered against defendants in the sum of $ 4,925, consisting of $ 1,000 in statutory damages plus $ 3,000 in enhanced statutory damages, and $ 925 for the tort of conversion.

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