Confusion About Damages in Copyright Statute

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Hi Angela

Regarding this statute:

(1) Except as provided by clause (2) of this subsection, the copyright owner may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits, an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action, with respect to any one work, for which any one infringer is liable individually, or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly and severally, in a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just. For the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work.

The WritersWeekly invoice to Anne Wayman stated:

“We are invoicing you $750 for each week you published WritersWeekly.com’s copyrighted material.”

You will note that the highlighted sentence reads “in a sum…”, that mean total, which cannot exceed 30,000.00. Your invoice is for more than 30K.

MR

The statute says:

“…an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action, with respect TO ANY ONE WORK…”

(Capital letters added by me.)

She illegally published markets from 51 different issues of WritersWeekly (51 different works).

51 x $750 = $38,250.

On a similar and interesting note, I heard from another publisher last week who sued a competitor for distributing issues of his periodical for over a year. He was awarded $100K.