Broad. Music, Inc. v. Young

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright, Infringement
  • Date Filed: 06-06-2013
  • Case #: 4:13 CV 35 RWS
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79337
  • Full Text Opinion

A copyright infringer is liable for either actual or statutory damages, whichever the copyright owner chooses.

Opinion (Sippel): Broadcast Music Inc. ("BMI") acquires non-exclusive public performance rights from music publishing companies and independent composers. Dawne R. Young ("Young") operates Down Under, a business that features live performances and recorded music. Young infringed on BMI's copyrighted material thirteen times via unauthorized public performances. Before that date, BMI telephoned Young on 81 separate occasions and mailed her 22 letters informing her that she must obtain permission for public performance of copyrighted music. A default judgment was entered against Young for failing to file an answer. Under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 504(a), an infringer is liable for either actual damages or statutory damages, by choice of the copyright owner. BMI sought statutory damages of $2,000 for each of the thirteen acts of infringement. 17 U.S.C. § 504(c) provides that statutory damages, with respect to any one work, are to be decided by the court and may not be less than $750 or more than $30,000. The court GRANTED BMI's motion for default judgment. Because Young demonstrated a history of willful infringement, BMI's request to permanently enjoin Young was also GRANTED.

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