Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hydentra Hlp Int. Limited v. Porn69.Org

United States District Court, D. Arizona

June 10, 2016

Hydentra HLP Int. Limited, Plaintiff,
v.
Porn69.org, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.

         After the Clerk of the Court entered default against Defendants Tan Bao Anh Pham, Nguyen Le Tran, and Henry Jay (Doc. 30), Plaintiff Hydentra HLP Int. Limited ("Hydentra") moved for default judgment. Doc. 34. The Court will grant the motion.

         I. Background.

         On March 12, 2015, Plaintiff initiated this action against a group of four pornographic websites (collectively "Porn69"), asserting claims for copyright infringement based on Porn69's publication of certain videos copyrighted by Plaintiff. Doc. 1. Plaintiff filed a motion requesting leave to conduct discovery to determine the owners and operators of Porn69. Doc. 8. The Court granted the motion. Doc. 11. Thereafter, Plaintiff amended its complaint to add as Defendants the owners and operators of Porn69: Tan Bao Anh Pham, Nguyen Le Tran, and Henry Jay. Doc. 17. Defendant Tan Bao Anh Pham was personally served with the first amended complaint. Doc. 22. With leave of court, Plaintiff served Defendants Nguyen Le Tran and Henry Jay by email. Docs. 23, 26.

         Defendants failed to appear after receiving service, and on January 21, 2016, the Clerk of the Court entered default. Doc. 30. Plaintiff now moves for default judgment, seeking (1) $12, 600, 000 in statutory damages, (2) $24, 917 in attorney's fees and costs, (3) and a permanent injunction enjoining Defendants and their respective agents, servants, and employees from infringing Plaintiff's copyrighted works. Doc. 34-1 at 17.

         II. Analysis.

         A. Whether Plaintiff is Entitled to Default Judgment.

         In deciding whether to grant default judgment, the Court may consider: (1) the merits of the claim, (2) the sufficiency of the complaint, (3) the amount of money at stake, (4) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff, (5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts, (6) whether default was due to excusable neglect, and (7) the policy favoring a decision on the merits. Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986). In applying the Eitel factors, "the factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken as true." Geddes v. United Fin. Group, 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977).

         The first two factors favor a default judgment. A copyright infringement claim must show that (1) the plaintiff owns a valid copyright and (2) the defendant infringed the copyright. See Funky Films, Inc. v. Time Warner Entm't Co., L.P., 462 F.3d 1072, 1076 (9th Cir. 2006). Plaintiff alleges that it owns the copyright to certain erotic films and Defendants displayed 84 of these films. Doc. 17, ¶¶ 28, 58-61, 72-73. Plaintiff substantiates these allegations through declarations. Docs. 34-2, ¶¶ 8, 23; 34-3, ¶¶ 19, 24. Plaintiff has advanced a meritorious claim for copyright infringement.

         The third factor disfavors entry of default judgment. Plaintiff seeks over $12 million - a significant sum of money. Rule 55 does not limit the amount of money that can be awarded in a default judgment, and courts have entered default judgments for even greater sums. See, e.g., State St. Bank & Trust Co. v. Inversiones Errazuriz Limitada, 246 F.Supp.2d 231, 233 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (refusing to vacate default judgment for $140 million), aff'd, 374 F.3d 158 (2d Cir. 2004). Nonetheless, courts are ordinarily reluctant to enter a default judgment when the stakes are high.

         The fourth factor favors entry of default judgment. Plaintiff has been injured by websites hosted in Arizona (Doc. 34-3, ¶ 26), and has brought suit in Arizona. If Plaintiff cannot recover here, it is doubtful it can recover anywhere. "Plaintiff[] will likely be without other recourse" if its motion is not granted. PepsiCo, Inc. v. Cal. Sec. Cans, 238 F.Supp.2d 1172, 1177 (C.D. Cal. 2002).

         The fifth factor favors entry of default judgment. Plaintiff has provided declarations indicating that Plaintiff owned copyrights to certain erotic films and Defendants infringed upon these copyrights. There is nothing to indicate that these facts can be reasonably disputed.

         The sixth factor favors a default judgment. Although Defendants were properly served with the summons and the complaint, they made no effort whatsoever to respond to Plaintiff's claims or participate in this proceeding. Further, Plaintiff presents evidence that Defendants stopped using Porn69 upon being served with this lawsuit, and established new websites where they continued to display Plaintiff's works without authorization. Doc. 34-3, ¶¶ 38-39. This indicates that Defendants were aware of this lawsuit and that their failure to participate was willful, not negligent.

         The seventh factor disfavors entry of default judgment. "Cases should be decided upon their merits whenever reasonably possible." Eitel, 782 F.2d at 1472. This concern is alleviated somewhat by the fact that Plaintiff presents a strong case and would likely prevail if the matter were litigated on the merits. "Moreover, Defendant[s'] failure to answer Plaintiff[s] Complaint makes a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.