The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court
ORDER (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [Doc. No. 9] (2) GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT MOTION TO WITHDRAW FIRST [Doc. No. 7]
Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. [Doc. No. 9.] The motion has been fully briefed and is suitable for disposition without oral argument under Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Plaintiff has also filed a motion to withdraw its first amended complaint. [Doc. No. 7.] For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss and GRANTS Plaintiff's motion to withdraw its first amended complaint.
This is an action for copyright infringement. Plaintiff is the creator and publisher of adult films. [Doc. No. 1, Compl ¶ 5.] Some of Plaintiff's films are accessible through Plaintiff's website and others are available on DVD for purchase. [Id. ¶¶ 6-7.] Plaintiff alleges that it identified Defendant through his I.P. address as uploading onto his computer one of Plaintiff's copyrighted works, "Down on the Farm," which is only available on DVD. [Id. ¶¶ 8-9.] Plaintiff alleges that Defendant then distributed Plaintiff's work using an online distribution system, Bit Torrent, to the public without Plaintiff's permission or consent. [Id. ¶ 12.]
Plaintiff brought the present action against Defendant alleging a cause of action for copyright infringement. [Id. ¶¶ 9-16.] By the present motion, Defendant seeks to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. [Doc. No. 9.]
Defendant argues that Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction because Defendant is a New York resident and has no contacts with California. [Doc. No. 9-2 at 3-8.] Plaintiff argues that this Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant because he agreed to a forum selection clause when he joined Plaintiff's website. [Doc. No. 10 at 3-9.] Plaintiff also argues that this Court has specific jurisdiction over Defendant because he knew that his acts of copyright infringement would cause harm in San Diego and jurisdiction in San Diego is reasonable. [Id. at 10-19.]
"Personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant is tested by a two-part analysis. First, the exercise of jurisdiction must satisfy the requirements of the applicable state long-arm statute. Second, the exercise of jurisdiction must comport with federal due process." Chan v. Soc'y Expeditions, Inc., 39 F.3d 1398, 1404-05 (9th Cir. 1994). California's long-arm statute, CAL. CIV. PROC. CODE § 410.10, allows courts to "exercise jurisdiction on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of [California] or of the United States." "This provision allows courts to exercise jurisdiction to the limits of the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution." Dow Chem. Co. v. Calderon, 422 F.3d 827, 831 (9th Cir. 2005). Thus, the governing standard here is whether exercise of personal jurisdiction comports with due process. Id.
"For a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant, that defendant must have at least 'minimum contacts' with the relevant forum such that the exercise of jurisdiction 'does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'"
Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 801 (9th Cir. 2004). "There are two types of personal jurisdiction: general and specific." Ziegler v. Indian River Cnty., 64 F.3d 470, 473 (9th Cir. 1995). Here, Plaintiff does not argue that the Court has general jurisdiction over Defendant. Therefore, the only issue is whether the Court has specific jurisdiction over Defendant.
The Ninth Circuit has established a three-prong test for analyzing a claim of specific personal jurisdiction:
(1) The non-resident defendant must purposefully direct his activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or resident thereof; or perform some act by which he purposefully avails himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the ...