Philpot v. Scene Entertainment, LLC

Background information

Larry Philpot is a freelance photographer who photographs musicians. Philpot sued Scene Entertainment after they reportedly reproduced Philpot's copyrighted photograph of Macy Gray on their website without properly attributing it to Philpot. Philpot charged that Scene Entertainment violated the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Scene Entertainment failed to appear before the court, so Philpot moved for default judgment. Philpot sought $150,000 in statutory damages for infringement, plus attorneys fees and costs.

Case summary

The court granted Philpot's motion for default judgment with regards to his claim that Scene Entertainment infringed his copyright. The court denied Philpot's motion with regards to his second claim that the infringement was willful or that Scene Entertainment unlawfully removed copyright infromation, finding that Philpot did not sufficiently show that Scene Entertainment had knowingly facilitated infringement. The court subsequently held an evidentiary hearing for damages, and granted Philpot $10,500 in statutory damages as Philpot testified that he would normally charge Scene Entertainment $3500 for the use of the photograph. The court also ordered that Philpot submit a written motion for fees and include time sheets in his request.