The opinion of the court was delivered by: Martin, District Judge:
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Claire Kenneth De Bardossy, a Hungarian born
writer of romance novels, commenced this copyright action
against Sandor Puski and Corvin Hungarian Books to recover
damages for and to enjoin the defendants' allegedly
unauthorized publication of plaintiff's novels in Hungary.
Defendants interposed a counterclaim which sought a
declaration that they have the right to publish plaintiff's
works in the Hungarian language in any locale in the world.
The matter is now before the Court on the parties'
cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court finds that it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims. Accordingly, both
plaintiff's complaint and defendants' counterclaim are
According to the complaint, plaintiff was born and raised in
Hungary and lived there until 1956 with her husband, Paul De
Bardossy, and their son. Paul De Bardossy's uncle, Laszlo
Bardossy, was the Prime Minister of Hungary in 1941 and 1942.
During that time, Laszlo Bardossy declared war on the Soviet
Union, was arrested in 1945 and was executed in 1946.
Given the Communist takeover of Hungary and the familial
connections between plaintiff and Laszlo Bardossy, plaintiff
was forced to adopt a non de plume — Claire Kenneth — in
order to have her books published in Communist Hungary.
In 1946 and 1947, plaintiff wrote two highly successful
romance novels entitled "Night in Cairo" and "Rendezvous in
Rome" (respectively the "Cairo book" and the "Rome book").
Sometime thereafter, plaintiff's true identity was discovered.
Accused of being a "class enemy," plaintiff's works were
banned and she was deported to an undeveloped area and drafted
to do forced labor.
During the turmoil created by the Hungarian Revolution of
1956, plaintiff, her son and her husband, who himself had been
imprisoned for three years for attempting to enter Austria,
escaped from Hungary and settled in the United States.
Plaintiff resumed her writing after arriving in New York.
Ultimately, plaintiff met defendant Sandor Puski sometime in
the 1970's. Puski, also Hungarian born, states that he was a
book publisher in Hungary from 1938 until 1950 when the
Hungarian government nationalized his business and forced the
defendant to seek other employment.
In 1970, Puski and his wife left Hungary and joined their
sons who had previously settled in the United States. Puski
eventually purchased the Corvin Book Store, a Hungarian
language book store located on Second Avenue in New York City.
Puski was also publishing books in the Hungarian language
through May Publishing Company.
Eight letter agreements were signed by the parties between
1976 and 1987. These agreements cover all of plaintiff's works
with the exceptions of the Cairo and Rome books. Although each
letter agreement differs to some insignificant degree, the
agreements provide in relevant part as follows:
You [plaintiff] sold and I [Puski-Corvin and/or
Puski] purchased the publishing rights in the
Hungarian language of your books entitled. . . .
for. . . .
I will publish the books . . . under the May
Publishing Co. publishing series.
In the event of my death, all my rights and
obligations hereunder are my wife's and in the
event of her death, are my estate's, but we may
assign these rights and obligations to another
person or entity.
With the exception of the right to publish in the
Hungarian language you retain all rights as
author, including rights of translation,
dramatization and screenplays.
In the event the above or any further edition is
sold out and not republished by me within two
years, the Hungarian language publishing right