A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Awards Statutory Copyright Infringement Damages after a Default

In an April 11, 2014 ruling, Magistrate Judge James L. Cott recommended an award of $9,000 in statutory damages after an inquest in the plaintiff’s copyright infringement action for the unauthorized use of a celebrity photograph. The plaintiff sought the $9,000 as three times its lost licensing fee of $3,000. Judge Cott found that “trebling the licensing fee . . . is in line with the general approach taken by courts.”

The Court also awarded attorneys’ fees and costs. While approving the hourly rate of a partner with 20 years copyright experience of $525, Judge Cott reduced the requested associate’s rate from $400 to $300, writing that there was “no detail” about the lawyer’s specialization or experience in copyright litigation.
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