Statutory Damages

Damages for intellectual property infringement, which are provided for in the applicable intellectual property statute. These usually are applied in situations where damages would be difficult to quantify or where actual damages per defendant are tiny, but a deterrent effect is required. The most notable example of statutory damages is in the United States where they are available for infringement of a registered copyright and are a minimum of $750 per infringement (i.e., per infringer, per work) rising to a potential $30,000, while willfulness of the infringement raises the ceiling to a potential $150,000. Statutory damages are available in the alternative, i.e., a plaintiff can elect to seek actual damages, depending on which is higher. In a recent case involving a music downloader (UMG Recordings v., damages of $25,000 per CD uploaded onto the system were awarded with the number of uploaded CDs being between 4,700 and 10,000 placing the total damages at an amount between $118 million and $250 million. See Enhanced Damages, Damages. See Registration, Copyright.

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