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Inc. v. Pagaduan

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

February 27, 2018

ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC.; VENICE PI, LLC; LHF PRODUCTIONS, INC., Plaintiffs
v.
TRAVIS PAGADUAN, Defendant,

          ORDER MODIFYING AND ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT IN PART AND DENY IN PART MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT TRAVIS PAGADUAN

          Susan Oki Mollway United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION.

         This is a copyright infringement action brought by three separate plaintiffs against Defendant Travis Pagaduan for infringing conduct with respect to three different movies. Plaintiff ME2 Productions, Inc., alleges that Pagaduan pirated “Mechanic: Resurrection” via BitTorrent. Plaintiff Venice PI, LLC, alleges that Pagaduan pirated “Once Upon a Time in Venice” via BitTorrent. LHF Productions, Inc., alleges that Pagaduan pirated “London Has Fallen” via BitTorrent.

         Default has been entered against Pagaduan, and Plaintiffs have moved for default judgment. On December 29, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued his Findings and Recommendation to Grant in Part and Deny in Part Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment (“F&R”), ECF No. 42. The F&R recommended that: (1) default judgment be entered in favor of each respective Plaintiff and against Pagaduan; (2) Pagaduan be ordered to delete or destroy any and all illegal copies of “Mechanic: Resurrection, ” “Once Upon a Time in Venice, ” and “London Has Fallen;” (3) Pagaduan be permanently enjoined from downloading any of the three movies via BitTorrent or in any other manner infringing on Plaintiffs' respective copyrights; (4) statutory damages of $750 be awarded to each of the three Plaintiffs, for a total statutory damages award of $2, 250; (5) attorney's fees of $875 be awarded; and (6) costs of $270 be awarded.

         No party objected to the F&R. Nevertheless, in reviewing the F&R, this court became concerned that LHF Productions had already sued and received a judgment against Pagaduan with respect to copyright infringement claims for identical conduct two days before the conduct at issue in this case. The court therefore issued an Order to Show Cause why those claims should not be dismissed based on issue and/or claim preclusion. See ECF No. 44. During arguments at the show cause hearing of February 20, 2018, this court continued to question whether LHF Productions' claims were barred by claim preclusion. The court did not rule at the hearing, instead taking the matter under advisement. The day after the hearing, LHF Productions voluntarily dismissed its claims against Pagaduan. See ECF No. 47. This court therefore modifies the F&R to remove any recommended award to LHF Productions. The court adopts the remainder of the F&R as modified.

         II. STANDARD.

         A 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). 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 (9th Cir. 1989); Kealoha, 2017 WL 1839280, *2; Local Rule 74.2.

         The 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.

         III. ANALYSIS.

         Given the dismissal of LHF Productions' claims against Pagaduan, the court modifies the F&R by removing any award in favor of LHF Productions, including any attorney's fee award. With that modification, the court adopts the remainder of the F&R, ruling as follows:

         First, default judgment is granted against Pagaduan and in favor of Plaintiffs ME2 and Venice.

         Second, Pagaduan is ordered to delete or destroy any and all illegal copies of “Mechanic: Resurrection” and “Once Upon a Time in Venice” that he has in his possession or that he has control over.

         Third, Pagaduan is permanently enjoined from downloading or offering to others “Mechanic: Resurrection” and/or “Once Upon a Time in Venice” via BitTorrent or in any other manner infringing on ME2's or Venice's respective copyrights.

         Fourth, statutory damages of $750 each are awarded to ME2 and Venice, for a total ...


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