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Obodai v Youtube

Obodai v Youtube

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Published by Eric Goldman

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Jan 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK----------------------------------------AUSTIN OBODAI,Plaintiff,-v-YOUTUBE LLC; GOOGLE INC.Defendants.----------------------------------------X:::::::::X11 Civ. 4343 (DLC)
 
MEMORANDUM OPINION& ORDERDENISE COTE, District Judge:Pro se plaintiff Austin Obodai (“Obodai”) brings thisaction for copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 501against defendants YouTube LLC and Google Inc. Plaintiff claimsthat the defendants violated his rights as a copyright owner bypublishing three “literary works” registered in his name withouta license. On December 9, 2011 defendants filed a motion todismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the FederalRules of Civil Procedure. Because the plaintiff does not pleadfacts sufficient to show that the works in question areregistered by the United States Copyright Office (the “CopyrightOffice”), the motion to dismiss is granted.BACKGROUNDThe following facts are taken from the plaintiff’s AmendedComplaint and the Copyright Office, and are taken to be true for
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2purposes of this motion.
1
On various dates between December 2009 and September 2010,plaintiff published three “literary works” entitled,respectively, “How to Make an Excellent Digital Scrapbook,” “Howto Gain Good Nutrients,” and “How to Calcify Bones.” On May 24,2011, these works were posted in a “comments” section on thewebsite www.youtube.com. On May 29, 2011, Obodai filed atakedown notice pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Actof 1998,LaFaro v. New York CardiothoracicGroup, PLLC, 570 F.3d 471, 475 (2d Cir. 2009). On May 20, 2009,the Copyright Office received an application for registration ofa website titled “http://www.choicehow.com.” The applicationindicates that the work to be copyrighted was created in 2008.The Copyright Office issued a registration for the work on May26, 2009.Pub. L. 105-304, 112 Stat. 2860 (1998). The works wereremoved from www.youtube.com in October 2011.Obodai brought this action on June 1, 2011. On November21, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint ongrounds that plaintiff had not successfully pled that the“literary works” were registered by the Copyright Office.
1
On December 9, 2011, the Court took judicial notice of a trueand correct copy of the Copyright Office’s online record ofplaintiff’s May 26, 2009 copyright registration, downloaded bydefense counsel on November 10, 2011, from http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First.
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3Through an order of November 22, plaintiff was given anopportunity to amend his complaint or oppose the motion. Obodaifiled the Amended Complaint on November 29 and the defendantsmoved to dismiss on December 8. That motion became fullysubmitted on December 20.DISCUSSION“Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleadingmust contain a ‘short and plain statement of the claim showingthat the pleader is entitled to relief.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). To survive a motionto dismiss, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausibleon its face.” Id. (citation omitted). Applying thisplausibility standard is “a context-specific task that requiresthe reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience andcommon sense.” Id. at 1950.When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6),the court must “accept all allegations in the complaint as trueand draw all inferences in the non-moving party's favor.”LaFaro, 570 F.3d at 475(citation omitted). Pleadings filed bypro se plaintiffs are to be construed liberally.Chavis v.Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010).
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