Design Mart, LLC v. A Matalucci & Son Memorial Artisans, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:21-CV-22 (CAR) (M.D. Ga. May 16, 2022)
Plaintiff Design Mart, LLC filed suit against Defendant Matalucci on March 10, 2021 for 53 counts of copyright infringement in the Middle District of Georgia (Athens Division). The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff creates copyrighted designs for gravestones and monuments, which it displays in its subscription-based catalog, “Monument Designer and Catalog.” Defendant licensed the catalog from Plaintiff for several years but continued to display Plaintiff’s copyrighted images on its website even after its subscription lapsed. Defendant Matalucci filed a pro se Answer to the Complaint, which was struck by the court because an LLC is an artificial entity that cannot appear pro se. Defendant Matalucci failed to respond to the Complaint through counsel after ordered to do so by the Court. Plaintiff obtained an entry of default on November 17, 2021 and filed a motion for default judgment on December 16, 2021 seeking damages, attorney’s fees, costs, and a permanent injunction for Defendant’s infringement of 53 copyrights owned by Plaintiff related to designs and images of gravestones and monuments.
On May 16, 2022, Judge Royal granted Plaintiff’s motion for default judgment and, in an order issued that same day, awarded Plaintiff $53,000 in statutory damages ($1,000 per violation), $4,500 in attorney’s fees, and $435.84 in costs. The Court further granted Plaintiff’s request for a permanent injunction enjoining Defendant from infringing, using, and publishing any of Plaintiff’s images.