Court Awards Statutory Copyright Damages in Default Judgment

2 12 2015

Chicago IP Litigation

October 28, 2015

David R. Donoghue

Kinsey v. Jambow, Ltd., No. 14 C 2236, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 4, 2014) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve granted in part plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment in this music copyright case involving three reggae songs. The Court awarded plaintiffs $22,500 in statutory damages, a permanent injunction and their reasonable attorney’s fees. Of particular note, the Court held as follows:

  • Because plaintiffs’ complaint sufficiently pled defendants liability for copyright infringement, the Court granted default judgment as to liability.
  • Based upon defendants’ receipt of notice of their infringement and continued infringement after receiving notice, the Court held defendants’ infringement was willful, allowing for increased statutory damages.
  • The Court held that $7,500/work — $22,500 total – was sufficient to deter future infringements without being “unduly large.”
  • The Court permanently enjoined defendants from using plaintiffs’ copyrighted works.
  • In light of defendants’ willful infringement and as a further deterrent, the Court awarded plaintiffs their reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.


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