FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICO Hon. Daniel R. Domínguez, U.S. District
R. Rodríguez, with whom Rodríguez Lopez Law
Offices, P.S.C. was on brief, for appellant.
C. Rose, with whom Pryor Cashman LLP, Jorge I. Peirats, and
Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLC, were on brief,
Torruella, Lipez, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
BARRON, Circuit Judge.
case concerns Luis Adrián Cortés-Ramos'
appeal from a District Court order that dismissed his claims
that the singer Enrique Martin-Morales violated various
articles of the Puerto Rico Civil Code and federal copyright
and trademark laws. The suit arises in connection with a
songwriting contest held in Puerto Rico in 2014.
purposes of this appeal, Cortés-Ramos does not dispute
that, as a contestant, he agreed to the terms of the
contest's rules and that they included an arbitration
provision that compelled the submission to arbitration of
those of his claims that "aris[e] in connection with,
touch[e] upon or relat[e] to" those rules. He contends,
though, that the District Court erred in granting
Martin's motion to dismiss his claims based on that
agree with Cortés-Ramos. We therefore reverse the
order dismissing his claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
2013, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Brasil, Sony
Pictures Television, Inc., and Sony Electronics, Inc.
(collectively "Sony") co-sponsored the
"SuperSong" contest. The contest invited entrants
to compose, record, and submit an original musical
composition and accompanying music video. According to the
contest's rules, the winning composition would
potentially be included on the 2014 Fédération
Internationale de Football Association ("FIFA")
World Cup Official Album.
January 2nd, 2014, Cortés-Ramos entered the contest by
uploading a song and accompanying music video to the
contest's website prior to the submission deadline of
January 6, 2014. On January 8, 2014, Cortés-Ramos was
notified by email that he was selected as one of twenty
finalists, and, on January 15, 2014, Cortés-Ramos
received an email from a representative of one of the contest
co-sponsors that requested that, in connection with his entry
in the contest, he sign several documents and return the
documents to Sony. Cortés-Ramos signed the documents
before a notary public and returned them.
February 10, 2014, a different entrant was announced as the
winner of the contest. On or about April 22, Martin released
a song and music video entitled "Vida."
alleges in his suit, which he filed on February 8, 2016 in
the United States District Court for the District of Puerto
Rico, that Martin's "Vida" music video is
similar to the music video that he had submitted as an
entrant in the contest. On the basis of that allegation, he
claimed that he was entitled to damages pursuant to federal
and Puerto Rico law.
District Court dismissed all of Cortés-Ramos'
claims, however, based on a provision of the contest's
rules. Those rules state that "[b]y entering this
Contest, entrant . . . expressly agrees to all terms and
conditions set forth in these Official Rules." The rules
then describe, among other things, requirements for
eligibility, winner selection, a description of the prize,
and a list of contest ...