United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER ADOPTING IN PART AND MODIFYING IN PART FINDINGS
AND RECOMMENDATION THAT DEFAULT JUDGMENT BE AWARDED AGAINST
DEFENDANT FERDINAND PUMARAS
Oki Mollway United States District Judge
ME2 Productions, Inc., owns the copyright to “Mechanic:
Ressurection, ” a movie starring Jason Statham, Jessica
Alba, and Tommy Lee Jones. ME2 has sued 150 defendants in
numerous cases in this district for downloading and then
sharing “Mechanic: Ressurection” over BitTorrent,
an online peer-to-peer file-sharing network. ME2 alleges that
Defedant Ferdinand Pumaras is one of the individuals who have
pirated this movie by downloading and sharing it over
BitTorrent without paying for it.
defaulted in this case. This court must now decide what
Pumaras must pay for pirating ME2's movie over
BitTorrent. ME2 asks for $7, 500 in statutory damages and $2,
187.36 in attorney's fees and taxes for time spent by its
attorney, Kerry S. Culpepper.
August 22, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued findings and a
recommendation (“F&R”) that this court grant
in part and deny in part ME2's motion for default
judgment. See ECF No. 35. ME2 timely objected.
court adopts the F&R to the extent ME2 did not object to
it. After de novo review of the parts of the F&R
that ME2 did object to, this court adopts in part and
modifies in part the remainder of the F&R. Default
judgment is granted in favor of ME2 and against Pumaras. For
Pumaras's violation of ME2's copyright rights in
connection with downloading “Mechanic:
Ressurection” over BitTorrent, the court declines to
award ME2 the amount of damages and fees requested. The
Complaint in this case is a cookie-cutter document nearly
identical to several other complaints filed in this district.
The Complaint names numerous Defendants based on identical
allegations. Against Pumaras specifically, this court awards
ME2: 1) statutory damages of $750; 2) $250 in attorney's
fees, and 3) an injunction requiring Pumaras to delete or
destroy any and all illegal copies of “Mechanic:
Ressurection” in his possession or over which he has
control and to refrain from downloading “Mechanic:
Ressurection” again via BitTorrent or any other
file-sharing network or protocol in violation of ME2's
February 1, 2017, ME2 filed the Complaint in this matter
against 20 Doe Defendants, asserting claims of copyright
infringement (First Claim for Relief) and contributory
copyright infringement (Second Claim for Relief) in violation
of 17 U.S.C. §§ 106, 501, and 504. ME2, the
copyright holder for the movie “Mechanic: Ressurection,
” claims that each Doe Defendant violated its copyright
by downloading the movie via BitTorrent, an online
peer-to-peer file-sharing network. Each Doe Defendant, having
allegedly downloaded a copy of the movie from BitTorrent to
his or her computer, then allegedly made the movie (or parts
thereof) available for others to download over BitTorrent.
Thus, for example, Doe Defendant 4 allegedly downloaded
from BitTorrent via IP address 126.96.36.199, then made the
movie (or parts of it) available for others to download from
his computer via BitTorrent. See ECF No. 1.
22, 2017, ME2 filed an Amended Complaint that named Defendant
Ferdinand Pumaras as Doe Defedant 4. See ECF No. 20.
Pumaras is not alleged to have been the first person to make
that movie available for others to download over BitTorrent.
Complaint in this case is nearly identical to complaints
asserting the same claims on behalf of ME2 against 130 other
Doe Defendants in Civil Nos. 17-00079 LEK/RLP, 17-00096
LEK/KSC, 17-00098 LEK/KSC, 17-00130 KJM, 17-00131 ACK/KJM,
17-00155 JMS/KSC, and 17-00320 RLP.
district judge reviews de novo those portions of a
magistrate judge's findings and recommendation to which
an objection is made and may accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the findings and recommendation made by the
magistrate judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b); Local Rule 74.2. Kealoha v. Totto, 2017 WL
1839280, *2 (D. Haw. May 8, 2017); Paco v. Meyers,
2013 WL 6843057, *1 (D. Haw. Dec. 26, 2013). In other words,
a district judge “review[s] the matter anew, the same
as if it had not been heard before, and as if no decision
previously had been rendered.” Freeman v. DirectTV,
Inc., 457 F.3d 1001, 1005 (9th Cir. 2006).
district judge may accept those portions of the findings and
recommendation that are not objected to if the district judge
is satisfied that there is no clear error on the face of the
record. United States v. Bright, 2009 WL 5064355, *3
(D. Haw. Dec. 23, 2009); Stow v. Murashige, 288
F.Supp.2d 1122, 1127 (D. Haw. 2003). The district judge may
receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the
magistrate judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). The district judge may also consider the record
developed before the magistrate judge. Local Rule 74.2. While
the district judge must arrive at independent conclusions
about those portions of the magistrate judge's report to
which objections are made, a de novo hearing is not
required. United States v. Remsing, 874 F.2d 614,
617 (9thCir. 1989); Kealoha, 2017 WL
1839280, *2; Local Rule 74.2.
the court are objections to the very thorough F&R. After
de novo review, the court adopts the F&R in part
and modifies it in part.
court adopts the F&R to the extent it determines that
Pumaras, having defaulted, should be subject to default
judgment in favor of ME2 with respect to the copyright
infringement claims asserted in the Amended Complaint. There
is no dispute that ME2 owns the copyright to “Mechanic:
Ressurection” or that Pumaras downloaded a copy of that
movie via BitTorrent and later made the movie available for
others to copy it via BitTorrent.
objects to the $750 in statutory damages recommended by the
Magistrate Judge, asking instead for statutory damages of $7,
500. After de novo review, this ...