BOYD v. TRIBBETT et al
OPINION fld. Signed by Judge Madeline C. Arleo on 7/10/15. (sr, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil Action No. 14-5671
TYE TRIBBETT, et al.,
ARLEO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
This matter comes before the Court by way of defendants Tye Tribbe
tt (“Tribbett”), Tye
Tribbett Worldwide, LLC (“TTW”), Motown Gospel (“Motown”),
and Capitol Christian Music
Group, Inc.’s (“CCMG”) (collectively, “Defendants”) partial motion
to dismiss plaintiff Jeremy
Boyd’s (“Plaintiff’) Complaint.
$ Dkt. No. 10. For the reasons set forth herein, the motion is
GRANTED-IN-PART and DENIED-IN-PART.
‘The Court notes that Defendants’ attorney, James W. Bolan III, Esq.,
himself as representing a different group of defendants, including
Brandon Jones. $ Dkt. No.
3. Mr. Bolan has subsequently stated that he represents all defendants
except Mr. Jones, and Mr.
Jones is not a moving party in the instant motion. Mr. Bolan is
hereby ORDERED, within 14
days, to provide the Court written clarification as to whether he represe
nts Mr. Jones in this case.
In Plaintiffs opposition brief, Plaintiff requests leave to file a motion
to amend the
Complaint. Plaintiff’s cross-motion is procedurally improper as he
has failed to file a notice of
motion or attach the proposed amended complaint for the Court’
s review. $ Assoc. of N.J.
Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Inc. v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 2010 WL 234255
8, at *2 (D.N.J. June 7,
2010). Thus, Plaintiffs motion to amend is denied without prejud
This matter involves the composition, production, and
distribution of two songs: (1)
“Same God” and (2) “You Are Everything.”
In January 2012, Tribbett and Plaintiff discussed the possib
ility of Plaintiff creating,
producing, and/or writing musical compositions to be used
by Tribbett in an upcoming concert.
21. Tribbett also informed Plaintiff that these compositions
might be included on a then
In January 2013, Plaintiff and Tribbeft’s recording company, TTW,
entered into a co-producer agreement (the “Agreement”) for
23. In the
Agreement, Plaintiff, who is referred to as a “Co-Producer
,” agreed to “perform Record
production services and produce one (1) Master(s) for inclusi
on, at Employer’s election” on
Tribbett’s album. See Agreement ¶ 2, attached as Ex. 6 to Zakari
n Deci. Plaintiff was to be paid
$1,500.00 for his services. Id.
3. The Agreement also limited Plaintiff’s ownership rights.
First, as to Plaintiffs rights to the recording, the Agreement provides:
Each Master made under this Agreement, from the inception
recording, will be considered a work made for hire for Employer.
If any such Master(s) is deemed not to be a work made for hire, all
rights, title and interest in the Master(s) which are attributable
the Co-Producer’s participation in its authorship will be deeme
transferred to Employer by this Agreement and this Agreem
may be filed with the Register of Copyright as an official transfe
of copyright if such be necessary. All Master(s) made under this
Agreement, from the inception of recording and Records derived
therefrom, shall be the sole property of Employer, free from
claims whatsoever by Co-Producer or any other person;
Employer shall have the exclusive right to claim ownership of
register the copyright to those Master(s) in his name as the owner
and author of them and to secure any and all renewals
extensions of such copyright throughout the world.
4. Separately, the Agreement provided that Plaintiffs entitlem
ent to royalties was limited
to 75% of the minimum statutory compulsory license rate.
14. ¶ 7.
The Agreement also provided that Plaintiff must be provided “appropriate produc
The Agreement, however, limited Plaintiffs remedy for any
violation of this provision:
If Employer fails to comply with this clause in any instances the
sole obligation to Co-Producer by reason of such failure by
Employer shall be for Employer to use Employers best efforts to
rectify the error in all such materials prepared after Employer’s
receipt of notice of this failure by Employer. No inadvertent
failure by Employer to satisfy the credit obligation stIorthhereiti
shall be deemed a breach of this Agreement.
“Same God” was used by Tribbett on his album “Greater Than.” Compl.
claims Tribbett and TTW breached the Agreement by failing to: (1) pay Plaintiff
$1,500 for his
services; (2) provide Plaintiff production credit; and (3) pay Plaintiff any royalties.
j4 ¶ 34.
While he was creating “Same God,” Plaintiff claims that he “created other musica
compositions including [‘You Are Everything’]”.
27. Plaintiff does not, however, allege
that he was the sole composer/writer, but instead claims that Defendants “embodied”
the song on
the “Greater Than” album by “combin[ingj the show track (embodying Plainti
elements) with a replay of other portions of Plaintiffs original works.” Id.
claims that Defendants have failed to provide Plaintiff any production credit for
royalties, and an authoring fee.
¶ 32, 47.
Defendant Brandon Jones was identified as the producer for both “Same God” and
Jones received a Grammy award based upon this credit.
Plaintiff claims that Jones accepted this award even though Jones knew that Plainti
ff “was the
composer, producer, creator and/or author” of the songs.
ic ¶ 40.
The “Greater Than” album was distributed by Motown. Plaintiff avers that he has
several occasions informed Motown that he produced “Same God” and “You Are
and while Motown has acknowledged Plaintiff’s role in
the songs’ creation, it has nonetheless
failed to remedy the problem.
Plaintiff further claims that in March 2014,
Tibbett’s counsel, Garrett Johnson, Esq., confirmed in writi
ng that Plaintiff was a producer on
these tracks. Id. ¶ 64. While Motown promised that it
would issue a “Grammy certificate” for
his efforts, he has yet to receive this document. Id.
Finally, Plaintiff asserts that “Same God” was released
on “Wow Gospel,” a compilation
album. j ¶ 66. Again, Plaintiff did not receive productio
n credit on this album. I
Plaintiff has brought six causes of action: (1) breach of
the Agreement by TTW; (2)
fraudulent inducement of services against Tribbett and
TTW; (3) unjust enrichment against
Tribbett, TTW, and Jones; (4) an accounting against Trib
bett and/or TTW; (5) direct copyright
infringement against all defendants; and (6) contributory
copyright infringement against all
CCMG AND MoTowN’s MOTION
FOR LACK OF PERSONAL
CCMG and Motown move to dismiss the Complaint base
d upon the Court’s lack of
personal jurisdiction. At the outset, the Court notes that CCM
G has asserted that Motown is not
a separate corporate entity, but instead a “d/b/a” for CCM
G. Plaintiff does not dispute this
assertion. Thus, the Court’s analysis is the same for both defe
Rule 4(k)(1 )(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow
s a federal district court to
“exercise personal jurisdiction according to the law of the
state where it sits.” O’Connor v.
Sandy Lane Hotel Co., 496 F.3d 312, 316 (3d Cir. 2007);
see Marten v. Godwin, 499 F.3d 290,
296 (3d Cir. 2007). Normally, this is a two-part inquiry;
there must be a state statutory basis for
exercising jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant as well
as a constitutional basis whereby
the minimum contacts between the non-resident and the forum
state satisfy due process under the
Fourteenth Amendment. See Metcalfe v. Renaissance Marine
, Inc., 566 F.3d 324, 330 (3d Cir.
2009). New Jersey’s long-arm rule, however, extends juris
diction over non-resident defendants
to the full extent permitted by the United States Consti
Carteret Say. Bank, FA v.
Shushan, 954 F.2d 141, 145 (3d Cir. 1992); see also N.J. Ct.
R. 4-4(b)(l); YA Global mv., L.P.
v. Cliff, 419 N.J. Super. 1, 8 (App. Div. 2011) (citing Avdel
Corp. v. Mecure, 58 N.J. 264, 268
(1971)). Therefore, in New Jersey, inquiry into whether person
al jurisdiction exists over a nonresident
defendant concerns only questions of due process under the Consti
tution. Carteret, 954
F.2d at 145.
In the context of a motion to dismiss for lack of personal juris
diction, a plaintiff has the
burden of persuasion to establish that jurisdiction is proper
and must provide facts based upon
competent evidence, such as affidavits. Metcalfe, 566 F.3d at 330;
see also Time Share Vacation
Club v. Atlantic Resorts, Ltd., 735 F.2d 61, 66 n.9 (3d Cir. 1984)
(explaining that, unlike a
motion for failure to state a claim, a plaintiff may not rely on pleadin
gs alone for contests of
In that context, a plaintiffs burden of proof depends on whethe
evidentiary hearing is held. Metcalfe, 566 F.3d at 330—31; see
also Lasala v. Marfin Popular
Bank Pub. Co., 410 F. App’x 474, 476 (3d Cir. 2011).
If a court conducts an evidentiary
hearing, a plaintiff must prove personal jurisdiction by a prepon
derance of the evidence.
Carteret, 954 F.2d at 142 n.l, 146; see also Lasala, 410 F.
App’x at 476. If no evidentiary
hearing takes place, a plaintiff need only offer a prima fje
case for personal jurisdiction, and a
court must accept a plaintiff’s allegations as true and constru
e disputed facts in its favor.
O’Connor, 496 F.3d at 316 (citing Miller Yacht Sales, Inc.
v. Smith, 384 F.3d 93, 97 (3d Cir.
2004)); see also j4 at 323 (stating that “[w]e accept [plai
ntiffs jurisdictional] statement as true
because the District Court held no evidentiary hearing); Lasala,
410 F. App’x at 476—77.
Personal jurisdiction may be exercised under two distinct theories: general jurisdiction or
specific jurisdiction. O’Connor, 496 F.3d at 317. In his opposition brief, Plaintiff advances only
a specific jurisdiction theory.
P1. Opp’n Br., at 15
In the Complaint, Boyd alleges:
This Court has personal jurisdiction over all Defendants because
Defendants: (i) solicit, transact and conduct business in the State of
New Jersey and in this District and are regularly doing or soliciting
business or engaging in a persistent course of conduct in this State
and in this District; (ii) receive substantial revenuC from the State
of New Jersey and the unlawful andlor illegal conduct alleged in
the Complaint occurred in the State of New Jersey and within this
District; (iii) expect or reasonably should expect their conduct to
have consequences in the State of New Jersey; (iv) directly or
indirectly infringed Plaintiff’s copyrights in and to the Subject
Compositions in the State of New Jersey and in this District; and
(v) have caused harm to Plaintiff in the State of New Jersey and
throughout the United States.
In support of its motion to dismiss, CCMG submits the sworn statement of Tern Nolan,
Esq., who is “manager of business affairs” at CCMG.
$ Nolan Deci. ¶
1. Mr. Nolan asserts
that CCMG is incorporated in California and its principal place of business is in Tennessee. jj
3. Mr. Nolan further states that CCMG does not maintain any offices or employees in New
Jersey, does not have any bank accounts or real property in the State, and does not specifically
target the New Jersey market for sales or advertisements.
Finally, Mr. Nolan asserts
that CCMG’s website is “passive,” in that no purchases may be made on the website.
Because Plaintiff does not provide any affidavits or other evidence to contradict Mr. Nolan’s
assertions, he has failed to provide a prima facie case of jurisdiction based upon CCMG’s
economic contacts. See Lottotron, Inc. v. Athila Station, 2011 WL 2784570, at *2 (D.N.J. July
11, 2011); see also Hansen v. Neumueller GmbH, 163 F.R.D. 471, 474-75 (D. Del. 1995)
(“When a defendant files a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2
), and supports
that motion with affidavits, plaintiff is required to controvert those affidav
its with his own
affidavits or other competent evidence in order to survive the motion.”).
Plaintiff also asserts that CCMG’s “illegal conduct” occurred in New Jersey.
Plaintiff does not allege what these actions were. In fact, Mr. Nolan asserte
d in his declaration
that CCMG does not have any employees in New Jersey.
Therefore, Plaintiff’s bare bones
allegations of “illegal conduct” are insufficient to establish jurisdiction over
Finally, Plaintiff argues CCMG’s intentional conduct caused him harm in New
Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984), the Supreme Court established an “effect
s test” for
determining personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants who allegedly
intentional tort outside the forum.
In such circumstances, a court may exercise personal
jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant when:
(1) The defendant committed an intentional tort;
(2) The plaintiff felt the brunt of the harm in the forum such that
the forum can be said to be the focal point of the harm suffered
by the plaintiff as a result of that tort;
(3) The defendant expressly aimed his tortious conduct at the
forum such that the forum can be said to be the focal point of
the tortious activity.
Remick v. Manfredy, 238 F.3d 248, 258 (3d Cir. 2001). Here, Plaintiff has failed to
second and third elements of the Calder effects test. Plaintiff is not a resident of New
has not explained why, notwithstanding his residence in another state, the “brunt
of the harm”
was felt in New Jersey.
9. In fact, Plaintiff specifically alleges that Defendants
actions “have caused harm to Plaintiff in the State of New Jersey and throug
hout the United
Similarly, the Complaint is devoid of any allegations that CCMG’s conduct
was aimed at New Jersey.
Plaintiff’s specific allegations regarding his and his managers’ communications with
CCMG do not provide this Court with jurisdiction either.
In his Complaint and affidavit,
Plaintiff alleges that on several occasions his managers contacted CCMG about
involvement in creating “Same God” and “You Are Everything.”
S Compi. ¶J 52-73;
9-17. Plaintiff also alleges that he affended a meeting with CCMG in Tennessee.
These allegations, however, do not demonstrate that CCMG ever reached out
to Plaintiff in New Jersey, took any action in New Jersey, or knowingly directed its conduc
MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM
In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss on the pleadings, the court accepts as
true all of the facts in the complaint and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plainti
Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008).
Moreover, dismissal is
inappropriate even where “it appears unlikely that the plaintiff can prove those facts or will
ultimately prevail on the merits.” j The facts alleged, however, must be “more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The allegations in the complaint
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
j4 Accordingly, a complaint
Plaintiff has not requested jurisdictional discovery. Based upon the record curren
before the Court, it appears such discovery would constitute no more than an improp
expedition based only upon bare allegations.” LaSala v. Marfin Popular Bank Pub. Co.,
F. App’x 474, 478 (3d Cir. 2011); see also Kinekt Design, LLC v. One Moment In Time,
2013 WL 3828508, at *2 (D.N.J. July 22, 2013); Vandeveire v. Newmarch, 2013 WL
at *2 (D.N.J. Nov. 15, 2013); Witasick v. Estes, 2012 WL 3075988, at *7 (D.N.J. July 30, 2012).
will survive a motion to dismiss if it provides a sufficient factual
basis such that it states a
facially plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Igbal, 556 U.S. 662,
For allegations sounding in fraud, Rule 9(b) imposes a heightened
pleading standard: “a
party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting
fraud or mistake,” but
“[mjalice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person’s mind may
be alleged generally.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). The circumstances of the fraud must be stated with
put a defendant on notice of the “precise misconduct with which [it is]
charged.” Lum v.
Bank of Am., 361 F.3d 217, 224 (3d Cir. 2004). “To satisfy this standa
rd, the plaintiff must
plead or allege the date, time and place of the alleged fraud or otherwise inject
precision or some
measure of substantiation into a fraud allegation.” Frederico v. Home Depot,
507 F.3d 188, 200
(3d Cir. 2007).
a. Breach of Contract
As set forth above, Plaintiff alleges that TTW has breached the Agreement
by failing to:
(1) pay him $i,500; (2) provide him proper production credit; and (3) pay him royalti
Here, TTW argues that Plaintiff’s claim of breach and damages are contradicted
the Agreement’s terms or other undisputed documents that the Court may consid
er on a motion
to dismiss. See Defs. Br. at 2 1-22.
Defendant argues that there can be no breach based on failure to
production credit because the Agreement provides that defendants only have
to use “best efforts
to rectify [any] error,” and that no “inadvertent failures”
shall be deemed a breach of the
Agreement. Thus, in the event that Plaintiff was not provided production
credit, TTW’s sole
After Defendants demonstrated that they paid the $1,500 by attachm
ent of the
cancelled check to Plaintiff, Plaintiff withdrew his argument that Defendants
failed to pay him as
per the Agreement. Plaintiff and counsel are cautioned to carefully investi
gate all claims before
making factual assertions, or risk Rule 11 sanctions.
obligation, once TTW received notice of the issue, was
to use its best efforts to ensure that
Plaintiff would be identified as a producer on all future
distributions. This Court disagrees.
Plaintiff alleges “[ijt is undisputed that [TTW} knowingly
and falsely identified
Defendant JONES, not Plaintiff’ as producer on the “Great
er Than” album. $ç Compi.
42. Plaintiff has alleged that TTW’s breach of Paragraph
6 was anything but
inadvertent. That is all that plaintiff is required to do. Thus,
Plaintiff has pled this element of a
breach of contract cause of action.
TTW also disputes that Plaintiff is entitled to any damages in the
form of royalties. TTW
argues that Plaintiff’s “production services were provided under
the Co-Producer Agreement on
a buy-out basis.” Defs. Br. at 22. TTW, however, fails to provid
e any explanation of what this
statement means. If Plaintiff was not to be provided royalties, why
was Paragraph 7 included in
Plaintiff has properly alleged that he is entitled to royalti
es under the
Agreement. Thus, this element is properly pled.
Finally, TTW argues that because Plaintiff asserts that he is a co-auth
or and co-owner of
the work, his remedy is limited to an accounting. TTW disputes,
however, that Plaintiff is a co
author. Thus, if TTW is correct, Plaintiff cannot obtain an accoun
ting. Therefore, Plaintiff may
plead a breach of contract claim in the alternative.
TTW’ s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim is denied
b. Fraudulent Inducement
Fraudulent inducement claims are subject to Rule 9(b)’s
requirements. UBI Telecom Inc. v. KDDI Am., Inc., 2014 WL
2965705, at *15 (D.N.J. June 30,
2014). “The elements of a fraud claim in New Jersey are (1)
a material misrepresentation of a
presently existing or past fact; (2) knowledge or belief by
the defendant of its falsity; (3) an
intention that the other person rely on it; (4) reasonable relianc
e thereon by the other person; and
(5) resulting damages.” Id. (quotation and citation omitted).
A fraudulent inducement claim “can be predicated on the promis
or having no intention of
fulfilling a promise at the time it makes that promise.” Id.
Allegations of non-performance
alone, however, are insufficient to plead a fraudulent inducement
Here, Plaintiff generally alleges that he was promised “verbally
and in writing” that he
would receivè the compensàiión séforth in the Agreement if he
provided the services set forth
in the Agreement. Compi.
Plaintiff does not, however, provide any detail as to the “who,
what, where, and when” of these alleged representations.
81-90. Thus, Plaintiff
has failed to plead a fraudulent inducement claim with particularity
and this claim is dismissed
c. Copyright Infringement
“To establish a claim of copyright infringement, a plaintiff must establish:
of a valid copyright; and (2) unauthorized copying of original elemen
ts of the plaintiffs work.”
Plaintiffs reliance on Paragraph 3 of the Complaint is misplaced. This
provides the date the Agreement was signed, but does not identif
y the “verbal” and written
false statements. Furthermore, to the extent Plaintiffs claim is
for fraudulent subsequent
performance of contractual obligations, this claim must be dismis
sed as duplicative.
DirecTech Del., Inc. v. Allstar Satellite, Inc., 2010 WL 1838573,
at *6 (D.N.J. May 6, 2010)
(“The courts in this District appear to distinguish between actions for
extraneous to the contract,’ which can be maintained alongside the breach
of contract action, and
actions alleging ‘fraud in its subsequent performance,’ which are
subsumed in the contract
claim.”); UBI Telecom, 2014 WL 2965705, at *16 (“While courts
have indeed recognized
fraudulent inducement claims as distinct from contract claims, this
area of the law is not entirely
settled, and it is only when the alleged precontractual misrepresenta
tion is ‘extraneous’ or
‘extrinsic’ to the contract that the fraud-based claim can properly procee
As the Court has determined it lacks personal jurisdiction over CCMG
, the Court limits
its analysis to Plaintiff’s claim against Tribbett and TTW.
Winstead v. Jackson, 2011 WL 4407450, at *2 (D.N.J. Sept. 20, 2011),
509 F. App’x 139
(3d Cir. 2013).
Defendants argue Plaintiffs claim for copyright infringement for “Same God” is
by the work for hire doctrine. The Court agrees. 17 U.S.C.
§ 20 1(b) provides:
In the case of a work made for hire, the employer or other person
for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for
purposes of this title, and, unless the parties have expressly agreed
otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the
rights comprised in the copyright.
The Agreement states that the Master made under the Agreement is a work made for
4, attached as Ex. 6 to Zakarin Deci.
When, as here, a work-for-hire contract
contains a provision for the payment of royalties and the plaintiff does not seek resciss
plaintiff cannot bring a claim for copyright infringement and must instead seek relief under
breach of contract claim. See Warren v. Fox Family Worldwide, Inc., 328 F.3d 1136, 1143
(9th Cir. 2003). Thus, Plaintiffs copyright infringement claim for “Same God” is barred by the
work for hire doctrine.
Defendants also argue that Plaintiffs copyright infringement claims are barred for both
songs because Plaintiff does not dispute in his Complaint or affidavit that Tribbett is
owner/co-author of “Same God” and “You Are Everything” and Plaintiff has, in fact, recogn
Tribbett’s authorship/ownership in copyright registrations Plaintiff himself filed.
Defendants attach two copyright registrations for the music and lyrics for both songs, which
both Tribbett and Plaintiff as authors and claimants, see Exs. 1, 2 to Zakarin Decl., and “sound
recording and music” copyright registration for “You Are Everything, et al.,” in which Tribbe
and Plaintiff are listed as authors and claimants. See Ex. 3 to Zakarin Deci. Plaintiff does
dispute the authenticity of these documents, but instead argues that when he filed these
registrations he believed he would be compensated for “Same God” under the Agreement and
that he would receive production credit and monetary compensation for his role in creating “You
P1. Opp’n Br. at 22-24.
One copyright owner/author cannot maintain a copyright infringement claim against a co
author/co-owner. See Brownstein v. Lindsay, 742 F.3d 55, 65 (3d Cir. 2014) (“Thus, if Person A
writes lyrics to a song and intends fOra composer to write the score, PersonBwho writes the
score becomes a co-author in the work.”); Marino v. Usher, 22 F. Supp. 3d 437, 443 (E.D. Pa.
Instead, the owner/author’s remedy against the co-author/co-owner is an accounting.
Neither Plaintiffs Complaint nor affidavit directly state that he is the sole author/owner of “You
Are Everything.” Instead, Plaintiff asserts that portions of “Plaintiffs original elements” were
combined with “other portions of Plaintiffs original works” in the track “You Are Everything”
on the album “Greater Than.”
Plaintiff does not allege that he, alone,
composed all of the music and lyrics for “You Are Everything” or that he was the sole producer.
Thus, Plaintiffs copyright infringement claim against Tribbett and TTW is dismissed without
d. Unjust Enrichment
Defendants argue that Plaintiffs unjust enrichment claims are preempted by the
Copyright Act. The Court agrees.
Bachner, 2010 WL 3210689, at *6 (“unjust enrichment
In fact, Plaintiff admits he filed Exhibit 3. See Boyd Aff.
Plaintiffs reliance on Carell v. Shubert Organization, Inc., 104 F. Supp. 2d 236
(S.D.N.Y. 2000) is misplaced. In that case, the plaintiff had consistently maintained, both in her
copyright registrations and in the litigation, that she was the sole author of some of the
cannot be pled where it is closely related to a copyright claim and satisfies the following
elements: (1) the particular work falls within the type of works protected by the Copyright Act;
and (2) the equitable rights asserted that are equivalent to one of the bundle of exclusive rights
already protected by copyright law”) (internal quotations omitted); Profoot, Inc. v. MSD
Consumer Care, Inc., 2012 WL 1231984, at *6 (D.N.J. Apr. 12, 2012); Winstead, 2011 WL
4407450, at *3..4; Nourison Indus., Inc. v. Virtual Studios, Inc., 2010 WL 2483422, at *3 (D.N.J.
June-320t0);sea1gi1eSource,Tiie. v. Aaadenioiie:rnc., 597 F. App
16, i.8 d ir.
2015) (“Federal courts have routinely held that claims of unjust enrichment are pre-empted under
106 where the claim rests on an allegation that the defendant has secured a benefit due to the
plaintiff under the Copyright Act.”).
Furthermore, to the extent Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim is predicated on rights
created by the Agreement, it is duplicative. Suburban Transfer Serv., Inc. v. Beech Holdings,
Inc., 716 F.2d 220, 226-27 (3d Cir. 1983) (“Quasi-contract liability will not be imposed,
however, if an express contract exists concerning the identical subject matter. The parties are
bound by their agreement, and there is no ground for implying a promise as long as a valid
unrescinded contract governs the rights of the parties.”).
Based upon the foregoing, Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim against Tribbett and TTW
is dismissed without prejudice.
For the reasons set forth herein, Defendants’ motion to dismiss is GRANTED-IN-PART
and DENIED-IN-PART. An appropriate form of Order shall issue. While the Court’s dismissal
is without prejudice, Plaintiff is cautioned that if he chooses to renew any of these dismissed
claims, he must rectify the pleading deficiencies identified above and comply with Rule 11.
Dated: July 10,2015
Hon. Madeline Cox Arleo
United States District Judge
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