February 13, 2008

Dick Clark Seeks Removal to Federal Court

On January 4, 2008, crooner Brian K. Evans filed suit in California state court against the legendary Dick Clark's production company on three causes of action arising out of defendant's use of the sound recording "It Had to be You" in connection with the television show (and international concert tour of) So You Think You Can Dance: breach of contract, fraud, and for an accounting. But, as the complaint explicitly indicated,

6. This complaint concerns the breach of a written contract and the infringement of copyrighted property of Mr. Evans, specifically his recording of the song "It Had To Be You," the master of which is owned by the Plaintiff. The copyright registration number of this song is SR0000357687 (dated 06-22-2004). This particular song was used in the tour "So You Think You Can Dance." The recording of this song is not subject to BMI, ASCAP regulations or procedures. Plaintiff recorded this song on his own and licensed it to Dick Clark Productions, Inc.

Evans v. Dick Clark Productions, Inc., No. SC096606 (Cal. Super.Ct., Los Angeles Co. - Western Dist.) (Emphasis added.)

In response, Defendant filed a notice of removal to the federal district court in the Central District of California, noting that federal courts have original jurisdiction over copyright cases pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1338(a). ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to ... copyrights... Such jurisdiction shall be exclusive of the courts of the states in ... copyright cases."). Further, Dick Clark argued that 17 U.S.C. 301(a) is "a broad preemption provision that preempts all state law claims within the general scope of copyright."

Given the above, it is unclear why Plaintiff (who is not appearing pro se) filed suit in state court.

[Evans v. Dick Clark Productions, Inc., No. 2:08-cv-00800-SVW-FFM (C.D.Cal, notice of removal filed Feb. 6, 2008)]

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