United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Columbus Division
D. LAND, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
pending before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for
default judgment. As discussed below, the motion (ECF No. 8)
brought this action against Defendant Zachary M. Lee for
satellite piracy under 47 U.S.C. § 605. Plaintiff
personally served Defendant with a copy of the summons and
complaint at his home in Atlanta, Georgia on April 15, 2019.
Proof of Service, ECF No. 6. Defendant did not answer or
otherwise respond to the complaint, and the Clerk granted
Plaintiff's application for entry of default. Plaintiff
then filed its motion for default judgment. Defendant did not
move to set aside the default, and he did not respond to the
motion for default judgment.
default, Defendant admitted the allegations in
Plaintiff's complaint. See, e.g., Eagle Hosp.
Physicians, LLC v. SRG Consulting, Inc., 561
F.3d 1298, 1307 (11th Cir. 2009) (“A ‘defendant,
by his default, admits the plaintiff's well-pleaded
allegations of fact. . . .'”) (quoting
Nishimatsu Constr. Co. v. Houston Nat'l Bank,
515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975)). These admitted
♦ Plaintiff held the exclusive commercial distribution
rights to the broadcasts of UFC 183: Silva v. Diaz,
which was televised on January 31, 2015
(“Program”). Compl. ¶¶ 1, 8, ECF No. 1.
♦ Defendant operated an entity called Jack N Seven on
Victory Drive in Columbus, Georgia. He had a right and
ability to supervise the activities at Jack N Seven.
Id. ¶ 3.
♦ The Program broadcast “originated via satellite
uplink, and was subsequently re-transmitted interstate to
cable systems and satellite television companies via
satellite signal.” Id. ¶ 8.
♦ Plaintiff entered into agreements under which
commercial establishments in Georgia could exhibit the
Program to their patrons in exchange for a fee. Id.
♦ Defendant did not enter an agreement with plaintiff
and did not have any license, permission, or authority to
receive and exhibit the Program at Jack N Seven. Id.
♦ “By unauthorized satellite transmission . . .
Defendant willfully intercepted or received the interstate
communication of the Program” and then
“unlawfully transmitted, divulged and published”
it to Jack N Seven patrons. Id. ¶¶ 11-12.
♦ “Defendant pirated Plaintiff's licensed
exhibition of the Program and infringed upon Plaintiff's
exclusive rights while avoiding proper authorization and
payment to Plaintiff.” Id. ¶ 13.
♦ “Defendant['s] actions were committed
willfully and with the purpose and intent to secure a
commercial advantage and private financial gain. Id.
47 U.S.C. § 605(a), a person may not engage in
unauthorized reception and publication of a satellite
transmission. See J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v.
Taqueria Jalisco, Inc., 491 Fed.Appx. 962, 963 (11th
Cir. 2012) (affirming award of statutory damages under 47
U.S.C. § 605 based on restaurant's unauthorized
display of a boxing program that it received via satellite
signal). Based on the admitted allegations of Plaintiff's
Complaint, the Program was transmitted via satellite,
Defendant intercepted the Program, Defendant did not pay for
the right to receive the transmission, and Defendant
displayed the Program to patrons in his commercial
establishment. These allegations establish one violation of
47 U.S.C. § 605(a). The allegations in the Complaint
further establish that Defendant's actions were willful
and with the purpose and intent to secure a commercial
advantage and private financial gain.
party aggrieved under 47 U.S.C. § 605 “may recover
an award of statutory damages for each violation . . . in a
sum of not less than $1, 000 or more than $10, 000, as the
court considers just. 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(i)(II).
And, if “the court finds that the violation was
committed willfully and for purposes of direct or indirect
commercial advantage or private financial gain, the court in
its discretion may increase the award of damages, whether
actual or statutory, by an amount of not more than $100, 000
for each violation of subsection (a).” Id.
§ 605(e)(3)(C)(ii). Plaintiff seeks the maximum
statutory damages: $10, 000.00 in statutory damages and $100,
000.00 in enhanced damages for Defendant's one violation
of § 605(a). The Court finds that a hearing on the
amount of damages is unnecessary because the amount claimed
is capable of mathematical calculation. See Organizacion
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