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Filing a DMCA counter notification can create jurisdiction in California

Posted by Steve Vondran | Feb 10, 2024

Vondran Legal® - Viral DRM Copyright Infringement Cases: Personal Jurisdiction Analysis.  If you are being sued by Viral DRM call us to discuss at (877) 276-5084.

San Bruno YouTube jurisidction



A. Preliminary Injunction

A district court lacks authority to grant a preliminary injunction when it lacks personal jurisdiction over defendants. See Paccar Int'l, Inc. v. Commercial Bank of Kuwait, S.A.K., 757 F.2d 1058, 1066 (9th Cir. 1985) (vacating order granting preliminary injunction because the district court did not have personal jurisdiction); see also Hungerstation LLC v. Fast Choice LLC, No. 19-CV-05861-HSG, 2020 WL 137160, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2020) (“personal jurisdiction is a threshold issue and relevant to the likelihood of success factor of a preliminary injunction analysis”), aff'd, No. 20-15090, 2021 WL 963777 (9th Cir. Mar. 15, 2021), opinion amended and superseded on denial of reh'g, No. 20-15090, 2021 WL 1697886 (9th Cir. Apr. 29, 2021), and aff'd, No. 20-15090, 2021 WL 1697886 (9th Cir. Apr. 29, 2021). 

Plaintiff bears the burden of “establish[ing] the court's personal jurisdiction over a defendant.” Doe v. Unocal Corp., 248 F.3d 915, 922 (9th Cir. 2001). “For a court to have specific personal jurisdiction in an intentional tort or copyright case, “the defendant allegedly must have:

(1) committed an intentional act,

(2) expressly aimed at the forum state,

(3) causing harm that the defendant knows is likely to be suffered in the forum state.”

See Mavrix Photo, Inc. v. Brand Techs., Inc., 647 F.3d 1218, 1228 (9th Cir. 2011). 

Further, when there are multiple defendants, “[t]he jurisdictional inquiry must decouple defendants, considering whether each individual defendant has had sufficient ‘minimum contacts' with the forum state to justify an exercise of jurisdiction.” See Burri Law PA v. Skurla, 35 F.4th 1207, 1213 (9th Cir. 2022).

Plaintiff's supplemental brief contends personal jurisdiction exists:

(1) as a matter of agreement for those Defendants who served counternotices;

and/ or

(2) because Defendants committed intentional acts expressly aimed at California. (Dkt. No. 27 at 5-8.)

Under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3)(D), for a counter notification to be effective, it must include, among other things, “[t]he subscriber's name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriber's address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.”

Plaintiff has submitted counter notices for four Defendants: God WTF, Latest Weather, OpeN YouR EyeS, and When God is Angry. (Dkt. No. 15; Dkt. No. 27-2.) These counter notices state:

I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the district in which my address is located, or if my address is outside of the United States, the judicial district in which YouTube is located, and will accept service of process from the claimant.” (Dkt. No. 1-5.)

These counternotices are sufficient to meet Plaintiff's threshold burden to establish the Court's personal jurisdiction of God WTF, Latest Weather, OpeN YouR EyeS, and When God is Angry.

Contact a California YouTube Copyright Lawyer

Vondran Legal® is a leader in Copyright Law nationwide, but more specifically in the State of California.  We have offices in San Francisco (Northern District), Santa Monica and Newport Beach (Central District).  We have appeared in over 500 federal copyright infringement cases.  Call us if you a dealing with a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement, or you are dealing with a DMCA takedown or counternotification issue, or in need of copyright fair use analysis. 

We can be reached at (877) 276-5084 or fill out our contact form for more information.

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Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

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