A Burlington, Indiana pizza shop has been sued in the Northern District of Indiana over the alleged piracy of a UFC fight. The defendants are alleged to have aired a Conor McGregor UFC fight in their pizza shop in January 2020 without the proper license. The Complaint (below) details a common scheme by which commercial locations purchase a cheaper individual license not intended for public commercial use rather than the more expensive commercial license. However, if the defendants had any type of license for the McGregor fight, I would also expect the Complaint to include some “breach of contract” claims, which it is lacking.
The Complaint does not mention when the plaintiff became aware of the alleged infringement, which is important because there is a 3-year statute of limitations for copyright infringement. The alleged infringement occurred over 3 years ago, but it’s not apparent when the plaintiff discovered the infringement. The statute of limitations for Satellite and Cable Piracy is even shorter, just 2 years in Indiana. If the Burlington restaurant doesn’t know already (via a “cease and desist” letter or subsequent communications), I’d expect the “discovery of infringement” date to be one of the first inquiries by the defendants should the lawsuit proceed to the discovery phase.
The trend for these types of cases is to see no defense thus leading to an eventual default judgment amount far greater than the cost of any UFC fight commercial license. Restaurants have no incentive to drag out the proceedings, unless they actually did not show the fight in question.
Stay tuned to this blog to find out if the Burlington pizza shop decides to put up a legal defense.
Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. LNH, LLC d/b/a Burlington Pizza/The Barn
Court Case Number: 2:23-cv-00177
File Date: May 24, 2023
Plaintiff: Joe Hand Promotions, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Ryan R. Janis, Esq. of Jekielek & Janis
Defendant: LNH, LLC d/b/a Burlington Pizza/The Barn, Neal D. Harmon, Loriann Harmon
Cause: Satellite and Cable Piracy, Copyright Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana