Plaintiffs-appellants D.C. Comics Inc. and Warner Bros. Inc. (collectively "Warner") appeal from judgments entered in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Glasser, J.) permanently enjoining defendants from selling merchandise infringing on certain Warner copyrights. The district court refused to award any statutory damages under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 504(c) (1988), against certain defendants who consented to permanent injunctions. The court awarded reduced statutory damages of $200 against other defendants who either went to trial or defaulted, finding that any infringement was innocent. See 17 U.S.C. § 504(c)(2).
Warner contends that the district court did not have discretion to award reduced statutory damages against defendants who defaulted or failed to present any evidence at trial, because the burden was on the defendants to prove that any infringement was innocent. Warner also asserts that the evidence presented by defendants who testified at trial was insufficient to sustain a finding of innocent infringement, and that the court erred in refusing to award any statutory damages against defendants who consented to permanent injunctions.
For the reasons that follow, we modify the judgment in docket number 89-9264 to increase the damages against each of the defaulting defendants to $500 and affirm as modified. We vacate the judgments against certain defendants in docket numbers 89-9166 and 89-9168, modify the judgments to increase the damages against each of the defaulting defendants whose defaults were entered by the clerk to $500, and affirm the judgments against the defendants who consented to injunctions in those actions.
Miner, Roger J., "DC Comics Inc. v. Mini Gift Shop, 912 F. 2d 29 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1990" (1990). Circuit Court Opinions. 249.