United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Katheryn Hudson, professionally known as Katy Perry's (Perry) Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and in the Alternative, to Transfer. [Doc. No. 39], Defendants Jordan Houston, P/K/A Juicy J, Lukasz Gottwald P/K/A Dr. Luke, Sarah Hudson, Karl Martin Sandberg P/K/A Max Martin, and Henry Walter P/K/A Cirkut's Renewed Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, or in the Alternative, to Transfer and Defendant Capitol Records, LLC's Renewed Motion to Transfer, [Doc. No. 42]. Plaintiffs have filed a Response in opposition to the Motion. Defendants have filed Replies and Plaintiffs have filed supplemental facts in opposition. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motions are granted.
Facts and Background
Plaintiffs bring this action against Defendants under the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., alleging copyright infringement of Plaintiffs' copyright in their Christian Gospel hip hop song entitled "Joyful Noise." Plaintiffs claim that Defendants' song, "Dark Horse" infringes Plaintiffs' copyright in Joyful Noise, which was released five years before Dark Horse.
The First Amended Complaint alleges that Plaintiff Marcus Gray is an American Christian hip hop musician and a citizen of Missouri who resides within the Eastern Division of this District. Plaintiff Chike Ojukwu is an American Christian hip hop musician and record producer and a citizen of Missouri who resides within the Eastern Division of this District. Plaintiff Emanuel Lambert is an American Christian hip hop musician and record producer and a citizen of Pennsylvania who resides in Aldan, Pennsylvania.
The First Amended Complaint further alleges that upon information and belief, Defendant Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (p/k/a Katy Perry) is a citizen of California presently residing at 7310 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Upon information and belief, Defendant Jordan Michael Houston (p/k/a Juicy J) is a citizen of Tennessee presently residing at 411 North Oakhurst Drive #402, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Upon information and belief, Defendant Lukasz Gottwald (p/k/a Dr. Luke) is a citizen of California presently residing at 8700 Hollywood Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Upon information and belief, Defendant Karl Martin Sandberg (p/k/a Max Martin) is a citizen of California presently residing at 882 North Doheny Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Upon information and belief, Defendant Henry Russell Walter (p/k/a Cirkut) is a citizen of California residing at 26664 Seagull Way, Unit A211, Malibu, CA 90265-4543. Upon information and belief, Defendant Sarah Theresa Hudson is a citizen of California residing at 5000 Kester Ave., #5 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403. Defendant Capitol Records, LLC ("Capitol Records") is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business at 150 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011. Vevo, LLC, which operates a commercial site on YouTube that features music videos of Capitol Records songs, is an affiliate of Capitol Records and has a principal place of business at the same address as Capitol Records.
This is an action for copyright infringement arising under the Copyright Act. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 17 U.S.C. § 501 and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338(a).
Plaintiffs claim the Court has personal jurisdiction over all of the defendants because each of them has sufficient contacts with the State of Missouri to satisfy this jurisdictional requirement, to wit: Each of these defendants, acting personally, through authorized agents and representatives, or jointly with one another, have purposefully, foreseeably, systematically, and continuously over the past year directed their marketing, promotion, sale, and public performance of their infringing Dark Horse song toward residents of the State of Missouri and, as a direct result thereof, have injured these Plaintiffs in Missouri by infringing their exclusive rights under the Copyright Act by, among other things:
a. Authorizing, arranging for and profiting from Missouri residents purchasing CDs and digital downloads of the Dark Horse song, streaming the audio version of the Dark Horse song, and viewing the music video version of the Dark Horse song on the commercial YouTube and Vevo websites;
b. Authorizing, arranging for, and profiting from Missouri residents purchasing digital downloads of the Dark Horse song directly from interactive links embedded in the Internet pages for the music video version of the Dark Horse song on the commercial YouTube and the Vevo websites;
c. Authorizing, arranging for, and profiting from the commercial broadcast of the Dark Horse on radio stations throughout Missouri and the nation;
d. Authorizing, arranging for, profiting from, and/or performing the Dark Horse song on national television programs that are broadcast into Missouri, including the performance of the song on or about January 26, 2014 at the nationally televised 56th Annual Grammy Awards®, which was broadcast by CBS television and reached a viewing audience of more than 28 million, including, upon information and belief, hundreds of thousands of citizens of Missouri;
e. Authorizing, arranging for, profiting from, and/or performing the Dark Horse song at live concerts in Missouri in 2014 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis (on August 17) and the Sprint Center in Kansas City (on August 19); and
f. Actively promoting the Dark Horse song on their social media sites and including direct links to the iTunes page for purchasing a digital download of that song.
Plaintiffs further contend that the viewing of the infringing music video and viewing of the Grammy Awards television show contribute to Defendants' contacts with Missouri.
With respect to Defendant Perry, Plaintiffs allege that her additional Missouri contacts include:
a. She operates an interactive website where she promotes and sells to citizens of Missouri and elsewhere copies of the Dark Horse song, as shown on the screenshots from her website;
b. She traveled into Missouri for the commercial purpose of performing two concerts in Missouri in August of 2014 where, on information and belief, her performance of the infringing Dark Horse song was seen by approximately 40, 000 concertgoers.
With respect to each of the other five individual Defendants who are listed as writers and co-owners of the copyright in the Dark Horse song, in addition to their Missouri contacts alleged above, these Defendants knew, intended, expected, and agreed that a song that they would co-write for Defendant Perry would be distributed, promoted, broadcast, and sold throughout the nation, including in Missouri, in that, among other things, they knew or should have known that:
a. Defendant Perry's prior two albums- One of the Boys and Teenage Dreams -had each sold more than 5 million copies nationwide, including in Missouri;
b. Twelve singles from those two albums had sold more than 1 million copies each nationwide, including in Missouri;
c. Seven of those 12 singles had reached the Number 1 spot on the BILLBOARD HOT 100, which is the American music industry standard record chart for singles, published by Billboard magazine and based on radio play, streaming online, and sales; and
d. The commercial and geographic scope of a song performed by Defendant Perry would exceed the commercial and geographic scope of virtually every other performing artist, as confirmed earlier this year by the Recording Industry Associate of America ("RIAA"), in a ceremony naming Perry as the performing artist with the most Gold and Platinum digital single certifications in history, which-as stated in the RIAA press release-"makes ...