PPV Sports Broadcast Piracy - 2019 Updates - INNOVATIVE SPORTS MANAGEMENT, INC., d/b/a INTEGRATED SPORTS MEDIA (Soccer Games)
Did your Mexican food restaurant (a common target) receive a notice of summons, lawsuit or demand letter for showing a soccer game at your restaurant? This happens more frequently than anyone knows. Many lawsuits are filed in the California Central District Federal Court. This blog will provide a general legal overview.
How many lawsuits do they file?
Here is a look at the federal Pacer system showing a sample of "binge filing" lawsuits by this Plaintiff.
If you received a letter or phone call from THE LAW OFFICES OF THOMAS P. RILEY, P.C. contact us for a free initial consultation at (877) 276-5084 or email us using our contact form.
VIDEO: Overview of "Innovative Sports Management" lawsuits
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Sample lawsuit allegations
Here are a few snippets of allegations you might see in an Innovative Sports complaint.
- Plaintiff, Innovative Sports Management, Inc., d/b/a Integrated Sports Media, is and at all relevant times mentioned was, a New Jersey corporation with its principal place of business located at 64 North Summit Street, Suite 218, Tenafly, New Jersey 07060.
- Plaintiff is informed and believes, and alleges thereon that on Saturday, June 2, 2018 (the night of the Program at issue herein, as more specifically defined in paragraph 16), Defendant Maritza Larios had the right and ability to supervise the activities of Honduras Kitchen, which included the unlawful interception of Plaintiff's Program
- Plaintiff is informed and believes, and alleges thereon that on Saturday, June 2, 2018 (the night of the Program at issue herein, as more specifically defined in paragraph 16), Defendant Rafael Antonio Larios, Jr., as an individual specifically identified on the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control License for Honduras Kitchen, had the obligation to supervise the activities of Honduras Kitchen, which included the unlawful interception of Plaintiff's Program, and, among other responsibilities, had the obligation to ensure that the liquor license was not used in violation of the law
- Pursuant to contract, Plaintiff Innovative Sports Management, Inc., d/b/a Integrated Sports Media, was granted the exclusive nationwide commercial distribution (closed-circuit) rights to El Salvador v. Honduras, International Friendly Soccer Game, telecast nationwide on Saturday, June 2, 2018 (this included all interviews and game commentary encompassed in the television broadcast of the event,
- Pursuant to contract, Plaintiff Innovative Sports Management, Inc., d/b/a Integrated Sports Media, entered into subsequent sublicensing agreements with various commercial entities throughout North America, including entities within the State of California, by which it granted these entities limited sub-licensing rights, specifically the rights to publicly exhibit the Program within their respective commercial establishments in the hospitality industry (i.e., hotels, racetracks, casinos, bars, taverns, restaurants, social clubs, etc.).
- With full knowledge that the Program was not to be intercepted, received, published, divulged, displayed, and/or exhibited by commercial entities unauthorized to do so, the above named Defendants, either through direct action or through actions of employees or agents directly imputable to the Defendants (as outlined in paragraphs 7-22 above), did unlawfully intercept, receive, publish, divulge, display, and/or exhibit the Program at the time of its transmission at their commercial establishment
- Said unauthorized interception, reception, publication, exhibition, divulgence, display, and/or exhibition by each of the Defendants was done willfully and for purposes of direct and/or indirect commercial advantage and/or private financial gain.
Here are the legal sections at issue (federal law):
- By reason of the aforesaid mentioned conduct, the aforementioned Defendants, and each of them, violated Title 47 U.S.C. Section 605, et seq. 30. By reason of the Defendants' violation of Title 47 U.S.C. Section 605, et seq., Plaintiff Innovative Sports Management, Inc., d/b/a Integrated Sports Media, has the private right of action pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. Section 605. 31. As the result of the aforementioned Defendants' violation of Title 47 U.S.C. Section 605, and pursuant to said Section 605, Plaintiff Innovative Sports Management, Inc., d/b/a Integrated Sports Media, is entitled to the following from each Defendant
- (Violation of Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553) 32. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all of the allegations contained in paragraphs 1-31, inclusive, as though set forth herein at length. 33. The unauthorized interceptions, reception, publication, divulgence, display, and/or exhibition of the Program by the above named Defendants was prohibited by Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553, et seq. 34. By reason of the aforesaid mentioned conduct, the aforementioned Defendants, and each of them, violated Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553, et seq. 35. By reason of the Defendants' violation of Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553, et seq., Plaintiff Innovative Sports Management, Inc., d/b/a Integrated Sports Media, has the private right of action pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553.
Attorney Steve Tip: You cannot be liable for BOTH SECTIONS. It has to be one or the other. They may try to intimidate you on this very important point.
It's soccer time again - that means Innovative Sports Management d/b/a Integrated Sports is on the move
If you get a letter from the Law Offices of Thomas Riley in Pasadena, call us at (877) 276-5084 to discuss.
Damages Sought in the Piracy Complaint
In one complaint, here is what they sought (keep in mind many Defendants are minority Defendants who may not be familiar with the law, and that is the saddest thing to me personally). Plaintiff's do not care if you know the law or not.
- Statutory damages for each willful violation in an amount to $100,000.00 pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. 605(e)(3)(C)(ii); and (b) The recovery of full costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. Section 605(e)(3)(B)(iii).
- As the result of the aforementioned Defendants' violation of Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553, Plaintiff Innovative Sports Management, Inc., d/b/a Integrated Sports Media, is entitled to the following from each Defendant: (a) Statutory damages for each violation in an amount to $10,000.00 pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. § 553(c)(3)(A)(ii); (b) Statutory damages for each willful violation in an amount to $50,000.00 pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. § 553(c)(3)(B); (c) The recovery of full costs pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553 (c)(2)(C); and (d) In the discretion of this Honorable Court, reasonable attorneys' fees, pursuant to Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553 (c)(2)(C).
- They will also be seeking their attorney fees
- They may also seek damages for "conversion" - here is their conversion argument (By their aforesaid acts of interception, reception, publication, divulgence, display, and/or exhibition of the Program at their commercial establishment at the above-captioned address, the aforementioned Defendants, and each of them, tortuously obtained possession of the Program and wrongfully converted same for their own use and benefit). This sounds like total garbage to me.
Here is a request for damages in one request for default judgment that I reviewed:
What happens if you don't ANSWER the lawsuit?
Some people get a letter or email and think it might be a SCAM (again, many people are not aware that watching a soccer game with your friends - even without charging a cover charge - can lead to such an aggressive lawsuit). However, as strange as it sounds, everyone is "presumed to know the law" in the United States. This is insane because even lawyers need to look up the law so it can be a very faulty premise. Nevertheless, if you do not answer the complaint within the time required (this can vary between state and federal law), then the Plaintiff can file for a clerks default (routinely granted) and then seek a LEGAL JUDGMENT AGAINST OFFICERS, DIRECTORS AND OWNERS OF THE COMPANY. This means they can go after your personal property and assets. Before you get to this point, you should contact a TV signal piracy lawyer. If you don't answer the complaint a monetary judgement can be entered, and then enforcement actions on the judgement may commence. This can include (a) seizing personal property (b) levying any money you have in your bank account (c) garnishing wages, (d) filing an "abstract of judgment" on your real estate (you will be forced to pay the judgment if you ever seek to sell or refinance your property), and other actions that are legal in California or Arizona (where I am licensed to practice law). As such, the best course of action is USUALLY seeking to work out a deal to settle the case and close out the liability.
Learn more about Default Judgments with this great video: https://youtu.be/JynZhbBHEPE (dealing with Arizona default judgments). Note, when your case goes to "default" meaning you want to "take a default" you leave your future financial exposure up to the judge. This is not a good idea if you have personal financial assets. In many cases, officers and directors of a company can be held PERSONALLY LIABLE despite the belief that the Corporate veil will protect you.
What to do if you received a demand letter or notice of infringement
Here are my basic tips if you are facing a lawsuit with Innovative Sports Management for soccer closed circuit piracy or accused of broadcasting boxing matches without the proper commercial license at your tavern, sports bar, restaurant, etc.
1. Do not panic (we have helped many companies large and small and their officers and directors)
2. Do not talk to anyone (call us first). People you talk to may become witnesses if the case proceeds to litigation
3. Do not destroy any evidence (this can come back to haunt you if the case goes to litigation - federal judges do not like "spoliation" of evidence)
4. Call us for a free initial consultation at (877) 276-5084. We have appeared in over 200 federal infringement cases since 2004.
We can take it from here. In many cases we can settle your case so you do not have to go to court. We offer industry-leading LOW FLAT RATE FEES (so you know what your paying and you do not get surprise legal bills at the end of the representation).
Contact a PPV TV Signal Piracy Law Firm
We have helped many client who are accused of Pay per View piracy of companies such as:
- Joe Hand Promotions (PPPV Boxing matches)
- G&G Closed Circuit Events
- J&J Sports
- Innovative Sports Management dba Integrated Sports Media
- Zuffa, LLC dba UFC
We can be reached at (877) 276-5084 or email us using the contact form. We look forward to serving you and protecting your interests.