United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division
Glen E. Conrad Senior United States District Judge.
copyright infringement action, plaintiff ME2 Productions,
Inc. ("ME2") moves for default judgment against
defendants Mohamed Ahmed, Marisol Amaya, Daud Jan, and Robin
Stultz, pursuant to Rule 55(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. For the reasons stated, the motions will be
reviewing motions for default judgment, the court accepts the
plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations as to liability as true.
Ryan v. Homecomings Fin. Network, 253 F.3d 778, 780
(4th Cir. 2001).
Nevada corporation that holds the copyright to the film
"Mechanic: Resurrection, " alleges that the
defendants violated its copyright by using BitTorrent to copy
and distribute the film. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 12-13,
22-24, Docket No. 12. BitTorrent allows an initial file
provider "to share a file with a torrent network."
Id. ¶ 18. The users who join the network can
then distribute an entire file by each downloading a
different bit of data. Id. Plaintiff identified the
defendants through the IP addresses used when infringing
activity occurred. Id. ¶ 22.
30, 2017, plaintiff filed an amended complaint against the
defendants for willfully violating the Copyright Act, 17
U.S.C. § 101 et seq. After properly serving the
defendants and not receiving a response, plaintiff moved for
entry of default against Ahmed, Amaya, Jan, and Stultz.
Pursuant to Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Clerk entered default against each of those
defendants. Plaintiff has now moved for default judgment
against them, and the matter is ripe for disposition.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establishes a
two-step process for obtaining a default judgment.
Jefferson v. Briner, Inc.. 461 F.Supp.2d 430, 433
(E.D. Va. 2006). First, "the [C]lerk must enter the
party's default." Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Second, a
party may move the court for default judgment under Rule
reviewing a motion for default judgment, the court views all
well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as true for
purposes of liability. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(b)(6) ("An
allegation-other than one relating to the amount of
damages-is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and
the allegation is not denied."); see also Ryan,
253 F.3d at 780 ("The defendant, by his default, admits
the plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations of fact.")
(internal citation omitted)). Consequently, in the default
judgment context, "the appropriate inquiry is whether or
not the face of the pleadings supports the default judgment
and the causes of action therein." Anderson v.
Found, for Advancement, Educ. & Emp't of Am.
Indians. 187 F.3d 628 (4th Cir. Aug. 10, 1999)
(unpublished table opinion).
facts alleged in the complaint establish liability, then the
court must determine the appropriate amount of damages.
Ryan. 253 F.3d at 780-81. The court may make a
determination as to the amount of damages without a hearing
if the record contains sufficient evidence to support the
award. Anderson v. Found, for Advancement, Educ. &
Employment of Am. Indians, 155 F.3d 500, 507 (4th Cir.
1998) (noting that "in some circumstances a district
court entering a default judgment may award damages
ascertainable from the pleadings without holding a
hearing"); Painters & Allied Trades Indus.
Pension Fund v. Capital Restoration & Painting Co.,
919 F.Supp.2d 680, 684 (D. Md. 2013) (finding that the court
need not conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine damages
and "may rely instead on affidavits or documentary
evidence in the record to determine the appropriate
establish copyright infringement, "two elements must be
proven: (1) ownership of a valid copyright, and (2) copying
of constituent elements of the work that are original."
Feist Publ'ns. Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co., 499
U.S. 340, 361 (1991). For purposes of a default judgment, the
court believes that plaintiff has established both elements.
Plaintiff has alleged that it owned a valid copyright, and
that the copyrighted material was copied and distributed from
the defendants' IP addresses using BitTorrent. Am. Compl.
¶¶ 11-12, 18, 22, Ex. A, B.
the court will now turn to the appropriate relief in this
case. Plaintiff requests an injunction prohibiting further
infringement of "Mechanic: Resurrection, "
statutory damages in the amount of $6, 000 per defendant, and
costs and attorney's fees.