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Sony Bmg Music Entertainment v. Rezabala

September 3, 2009

SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
YOCONDA REZABALA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Plaintiffs' amended motion for entry of default judgment against defendant Rezabala, filed July 21, 2009, was submitted on the record. Local Rule 78-230(h). Upon review of the motion and the supporting documents, and good cause appearing, the court issues the following findings and recommendations.

BACKGROUND

On July 1, 2008, plaintiffs filed the underlying complaint in this action against defendant Rezabala, alleging defendant was using the internet to illegally download various copyrighted sound recordings and distribute them. The summons and complaint were personally served on defendant Rezabala on August 11, 2008. Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(e)(2). Pacific Atlantic Trading Co. v. M/V Main Express, 758 F.2d 1325, 1331 (9th Cir. 1985) (default judgment void without personal jurisdiction). Defendant has failed to file an answer or otherwise appear in this action. On September 26, 2008, the clerk entered default against defendant Rezabala.

Notice of entry of default and the instant motion for default judgment and supporting papers were served by mail on defendant at her last known address. Defendant filed no opposition to the motion for entry of default judgment. Plaintiffs seek an entry of default judgment in the amount of $5,250.00 in statutory damages, $420.00 in costs, and a permanent injunction.

DISCUSSION

Entry of default effects an admission of all well-pleaded allegations of the complaint by the defaulted party. Geddes v. United Financial Group, 559 F.2d 557 (9th Cir. 1977). The court finds the well pleaded allegations of the complaint state a claim for which relief can be granted. Anderson v. Air West, 542 F.2d 1090, 1093 (9th Cir. 1976).

To prevail on a claim for copyright infringement, plaintiff must establish ownership of a valid copyright and unauthorized copying of original elements of the work by the defendant. Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co., 499 U.S. 340, 361 (1991). Plaintiffs have alleged ownership of valid copyright registrations in the sound recordings that defendant allegedly downloaded illegally from the Internet. See Complaint ("Compl."), at ¶¶ 9-10; Ex. A. Plaintiffs have also alleged unauthorized reproduction and distribution of the protected works. Compl., at ¶ 13. The complaint is sufficiently pled and states a claim for copyright infringement.

Plaintiffs need not prove actual damages to recover the statutory damages they seek. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc. v. Krypton Broad. of Birmingham, Inc., 259 F.3d 1186, 1194 (9th Cir. 1997). Plaintiffs seek statutory damages as authorized by 17 U.S.C. § 504(c), in the amount of $5,250.00. Compl., at ¶ 17; Motion for Entry of Default Judgment ("Motion"), at 7-8. The court notes that defendant did not bother to respond to this action in any way, and thereby forfeited any argument she may have had to contest the amount of damages. The court deems defaulting defendant, by her failure to appear or defend this action, to have waived any objections to the statutory source of the damages prayed for in the instant motion. The memorandum of points and authorities and affidavits filed in support of the motion for entry of default judgment supports the finding that plaintiffs are entitled to the relief requested. There are no policy considerations which preclude the entry of default judgment of the type requested. See Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-1472 (9th Cir. 1986).

Remedies

Plaintiffs seek statutory damages in the amount of $5,250.00, a permanent injunction and an award of costs in the amount of $420.00 for filing fees and service of process. Plaintiffs do not seek attorneys' fees.

A. Injunction

Plaintiffs seek an injunction in the following form to enjoin defendant's wrongful conduct:

Defendant shall be and hereby is enjoined from directly or indirectly infringing Plaintiffs' rights under federal or state law in the Copyrighted Recordings and any sound recording, whether now in existence or later created, that is owned or controlled by Plaintiffs (or any parent, subsidiary, or affiliate record label of Plaintiffs ("Plaintiffs' Recordings"), including without limitation by using the Internet or any online media distribution system to reproduce (i.e., download) any of Plaintiffs' Recordings, to distribute (i.e., upload) any of Plaintiffs' Recordings, or to make any of Plaintiffs' Recordings available for distribution to the public, except pursuant to a lawful license or with the express authority of Plaintiffs. Defendant also shall destroy all copies of Plaintiffs' Recordings that Defendant has downloaded onto any ...


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