Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Foss v. Marvic

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 19, 2019

CYNTHIA FOSS, Plaintiff,
v.
MARVIC D/B/A BRADY-BUILT SUNROOMS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S AMENDED MOTION TO DISMISS (DOCKET NO. 23)

          TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE

         Cynthia Foss (“Plaintiff”) filed an Amended Complaint, (Docket No. 20), asserting copyright infringement (Count I), tortious interference with an advantageous business relationship (Count II), conversion (Count III), unfair and deceptive business practices (Count IV), breach of contract (Count V), and fraud and breach of fiduciary duty (Count VI). Marvic (“Defendant”) subsequently moved to dismiss Counts I and V for failure to state a claim. (Docket No. 23). For the reasons below, Defendant's motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         Background

         The factual background is taken from Plaintiff's Complaint and assumed to be true at this stage in the litigation.

         In October 2006, Plaintiff entered into a contract with Defendant to create artwork for Defendant's catalogue. In March 2018, Plaintiff registered the brochure with the Federal Copyright Office. Plaintiff claims that Defendant subsequently breached the contract and infringed on Plaintiff's copyright by modifying Plaintiff's work and continuing to use it without her permission. In addition, Defendant did not compensate Plaintiff for the continued use.

         On February 26, 2019, this Court stayed this litigation in light of a case pending before the Supreme Court that had the potential to be dispositive of Plaintiff's copyright claims. (Docket No. 46); see also Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Stree.com, LLC, No. 17-571, 2019 WL 1005829 (U.S. Mar. 4, 2019).

         Legal Standards

         1. Motion to Dismiss

         A defendant may move to dismiss, based solely on the complaint, for the plaintiff's “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege “a plausible entitlement t relief.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 559, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Although detailed factual allegations are not necessary to survive a motion to dismiss, the standard “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955. “The relevant inquiry focuses on the reasonableness of the inference of liability that the plaintiff is asking the court to draw from the facts alleged in the complaint.” Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 13 (1st Cir. 2011).

         In evaluating a motion to dismiss, the court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Langadinos v. American Airlines, Inc., 199 F.3d 68, 68 (1st Cir. 2000). It is a “context-specific task” to determine “whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief, ” one that “requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (internal citations omitted). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). On the other hand, a court may not disregard properly pled factual allegations, “even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is improbable.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955.

         Because Plaintiff appears pro se, we construe her pleadings more favorably than we would those drafted by an attorney. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Nevertheless, Plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse her from complying with procedural and substantive law. See Ahmed v. Rosenblatt, 118 F.3d 886, 890 (1st Cir. 1997).[1]

         Discussion

         1. Copyright Infringement (Count I)

         “The holder of a valid [visual art] copyright possesses exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute not only exact ‘copies' of the [work] but also ‘derivative works' based upon it.” Coquico, Inc. v. Rodriguez-Miranda, 562 F.3d 62, 66 (1st Cir. 2009) (quoting 17 U.S.C. § 106). “A person who trespasses upon any of these ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.