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Can I serve someone a C&D if they live in a different country?

New York, NY |

Someone has stolen content from my websites and I have repeatedly ask them to remove it and they have not complied. They live in the UK. Do I serve them?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    Every defendant must be properly served in order for a lawsuit to be good, even if they live in another country. Also, if there are foreign defendants, you must then follow international rules on service of process. First, you look at the Hague Convention to check if the defendant's home country is a signatory. If it is not, then you follow your home state's rules for constructive service of process on absent or out-of-state residents. However, if the defendant's home country is a signatory of the Hague Convention, it can sometimes get a little complicated. A signatory country will either specify that it wants its citizens served according to agreed upon Hague Convention terms, or specify that it wants its citizens served according to that country's own rules for service of process.

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  2. Yes.

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  3. Depending on what portions of your website they copied, they could be liable for copyright, trademark, or trade dress infringement. If they are doing business with U.S. customers, then you may be able to sue them in the U.S. If they are operating purely outside of the U.S., then you may need to sue them in their local jurisdiction. Either way, you should consult with an attorney before sending the cease and desist letter. An attorney can advise you on your potential remedies and can also help you identify an attorney in the foreign jurisdiction where the other party is located, which is beneficial to know what local laws the other person is violating and to make sure the person is served properly.

    The statements and views expressed in this posting are my own and do not reflect those of my law firm, are intended for general informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. This information is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without independent consultation and evaluation by an attorney. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an attorney if you have any questions about the subject matter of the information above.

  4. NO, YOU don't "serve" them. You hire a lawyer to do that. You have been ignored, so it's time to lawyer up and get serious and let the offender know you are serious. My recommendation is that you see a law firm that has a branch office in the UK so this can be done most efficiently, you would be able to see a lawyer locally there in NYC and that lawyer would have his branch office take care of the service. The UK offender will certainly take it much more seriously upon receiving a letter from a Solicitor, Barrister, or Queen's Counsel with a UK address.

    The DMCA assists in this if there is a US host or US ISP involved. Have you done a take down notice? The Berne Convention will help you in overseas enforcement. You need to understand them both to do this or get someone who does.

    You are being ignored because you are foolishly trying to do it yourself. You can't, so don't, that justs wastes time and causes you to stress.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.