Criminal Productions Inc v. Doe 1 et al

Filing 35

ORDER denying Defendant Olena Wilson's 18 Motion to Dismiss signed by Judge Richard A Jones. (TH) (cc: Defendant via U.S. Mail)

Download PDF
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 CRIMINAL PRODUCTIONS, INC., 9 10 11 Plaintiff, CASE NO. C17-102 RAJ v. ORDER OLENA WILSON and SHARON KLINE, 12 Defendants. 13 14 I. 15 This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Olena Wilson’s Motion to INTRODUCTION 16 Dismiss. Dkt. # 18. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. Dkt. # 20. For the reasons set forth 17 18 below, the Court DENIES Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. # 18. 19 II. 20 Plaintiff Criminal Productions, Inc. filed this case against Defendants alleging that 21 BACKGROUND they infringed on its copyright to the motion picture, Criminal, by illegally downloading 22 23 the movie using a “peer-to-peer” (“P2P”) or BitTorrent file network. Users of BitTorrent 24 file networks use online pseudonyms (“user names” or “network names”). At the time of 25 filing, Plaintiff identified Defendants by their Internet Protocol (“IP”) address and the 26 27 28 ORDER – 1 1 2 3 4 date and time of the alleged infringement. Plaintiff then used information from a nonparty Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) to determine Defendant’s names. Dkt. # 20. Defendant Olena Wilson, proceeding pro se, now moves to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint. As Defendant does not cite to any legal authority in her Motion, the Court 5 6 construes it as a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). 7 III. 8 A. FRCP 12(b)(6) 9 LEGAL STANDARD Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) permits a court to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a 10 11 claim. The rule requires the court to assume the truth of the complaint’s factual 12 allegations and credit all reasonable inferences arising from those allegations. Sanders v. 13 Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007). A court “need not accept as true conclusory 14 allegations that are contradicted by documents referred to in the complaint.” Manzarek v. 15 16 St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008). The plaintiff must 17 point to factual allegations that “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell 18 Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 568 (2007). If the plaintiff succeeds, the complaint 19 avoids dismissal if there is “any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the 20 21 22 23 24 complaint” that would entitle the plaintiff to relief. Id. at 563; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). A court typically cannot consider evidence beyond the four corners of the complaint, although it may rely on a document to which the complaint refers if the 25 26 document is central to the party’s claims and its authenticity is not in question. Marder v. 27 Lopez, 450 F.3d 445, 448 (9th Cir. 2006). A court may also consider evidence subject to 28 ORDER – 2 1 judicial notice. United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2003). 2 IV. 3 Ms. Wilson argues that she was not properly named as Defendant in this case 4 DISCUSSION because she did not download the movie at issue, that she is located in a housing 5 6 development with access to at least eleven (11) Wi-Fi networks from her home, that her 7 personal Wi-Fi network was password-protected with a default password, and that she 8 believes that the evidence naming her as Defendant in this case is insufficient because of 9 the existence of Malware and other methods used by hackers to route data through other 10 11 12 13 14 IP addresses. To state a claim for copyright infringement, Plaintiff must establish: (1) ownership of a valid copyright; and (2) copying of constituent elements of the work that are original.” Feist Publ’ns, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Servs. Co., 499 U.S. 340, 361 (1991). Plaintiff 15 16 has alleged that it owns a valid and registered copyright in the Criminal film. Dkt. # 14 17 ¶¶ 6-7; Dkt. # 14 Ex. A. This “is considered prima facie evidence of the validity of the 18 copyright.” Syntek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. v. Microchip Tech. Inc., 307 F.3d 775, 781 19 (9th Cir. 2002); see also 17 U.S.C. § 410(c). Having alleged ownership and filed a 20 21 22 23 24 certificate of registration, Plaintiff has established the first element. Plaintiff alleges that Comcast assigned a distinct IP address to Wilson. Dkt. # 14 ¶ 10. Plaintiff alleges that this IP address “was observed infringing Plaintiff’s motion picture” on a specific date and at a specific time. Id. ¶ 18. Plaintiff further alleges that 25 26 the “physical makeup and layout” of Defendant’s residence and neighborhood and the 27 “standard security measures imposed by the ISP” prevent unauthorized use of an IP 28 ORDER – 3 1 address and make it unlikely that a wireless signal was “high jacked by someone outside 2 of the residence”. Id. ¶ 14. Plaintiff also alleges that the infringing activity was not an 3 isolated incident and would have diminished the bandwidth of Wilson’s Internet 4 connections such that she would likely have been aware that it was occurring. Id. ¶ 12. 5 6 To overcome a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), Plaintiff 7 need only allege facts that “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 8 550 U.S. at 568. Assuming that the allegations in the Amended Complaint are true, the 9 fact that Ms. Wilson’s IP address was observed engaging in “persistent” activity, that this 10 11 particular IP address was observed copying Criminal, and that the “physical makeup and 12 layout” of Ms. Wilson’s residence allegedly makes it unlikely that her wireless signal was 13 used by someone outside of the residence, all sufficiently support Plaintiff’s claim that 14 Ms. Wilson copied elements of the copyrighted work. Therefore, Defendant’s Motion to 15 16 Dismiss is DENIED. 17 V. 18 For the reasons stated above, the Court DENIES Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. 19 CONCLUSION Dkt. # 18. 20 21 DATED this 8th day of January, 2018. 22 23 A 24 25 The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge 26 27 28 ORDER – 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?