United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
OPINION AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR DEFAULT
CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE Senior United States District Judge
times relevant to this action, Plaintiff, J & J Sports
Productions, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) had exclusive,
nationwide commercial television distribution rights to
“Floyd Mayweather, Jr. v. Andre Berto WBA/WBC
Welterweight Championship Fight Program, (“the
Program”). The Program, which included commentary,
occurred and was broadcast on September 12, 2015.
brought this action against Defendants Collective Minds, LLC,
d/b/a Mynt Lounge and Bistro, DRC of SC, Inc., d/b/a Mynt
Lounge & Bistro, and Benjamin Warren Rogers (collectively
“Defendants”) for exhibiting the commercial
broadcast of the Program without paying the required
licensing fee. Plaintiff's Complaint includes causes of
action under 47 U.S.C. § 605 (“Communications
Act”) and 47 U.S.C. § 553 (“Cable &
Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act”),
as well as a state-law claim for conversion. Defendants were
properly served with the Complaint but failed to file any
to Plaintiff's request, the Clerk of Court entered
default against Defendants on October 24, 2017. ECF Nos. 11,
12. Plaintiff then moved for a default judgment and an award
of attorneys' fees and costs under the Communications Act
(§ 605) claim, conditionally waiving other claims. ECF
No. 13 ¶¶ 5, 6. This motion was served on
Defendants. ECF No. 13-8. No response has, however, been
filed despite passage of the deadline for doing so. For the
reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.
AND ELECTION OF REMEDIES
has been established by Defendants' default. See
ECF Nos. 11, 12. Plaintiff has elected to seek damages under
its Communications Act claim, conditional on an award of
damages under that claim.
liability has been established by Defendants' default,
and Plaintiff has conditionally waived its other claims, the
only issues remaining for resolution are the amounts of
damages, attorneys' fees and costs to be awarded for
Defendants' violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605.
on Plaintiff's written submissions, to which no
opposition has been filed, the court makes the following
findings of fact and reaches the following conclusions of law
with respect to these issues.
Defendants are in default and have, by virtue of their
default, admitted all factual allegations in the Complaint.
Those allegations include (a) Defendants, without
authorization, intercepted a broadcast of a fight program to
which Plaintiff held the rights, (b) displayed that fight to
patrons in a commercial establishment, and (c) did so
knowingly and willfully and for commercial gain. Complaint
¶¶ 17, 18.
addition, Plaintiff alleges and Defendants, by defaulting,
admit they bore both vicarious and direct responsibility for
the display of the program and are liable for the same.
See Complaint ¶¶ 10-12, 19-22.
rate Defendants would have paid to lawfully display the
Program to their patrons was a minimum of $5, 000 (the rate
charged for businesses with a seating capacity of 201-250).
See ECF No. 13-3 at 9 (rate sheet); ECF No. 13-4 at
2 (affidavit of investigator);.
Defendants advertised the Program on the business's
Facebook page and also charged a cover charge for admission
on the night the Program was displayed. ECF No. 13-3
¶¶ 16, 17 (affidavit of Plaintiff's
representative); ECF No. 13-3 at ...