Q: "Can personal jurisdiction be obtained through a Internet website; if a US Based company
starts selling US copyrighted works in Canada to avoid paying royalties?
A: Perhaps, but in your fact situation, it likely does not matter. Whichever side of this you are on, you need to see a litigation attorney with Internet case experience. Do not forget to mention the HQ of the potential defendant is in the US. Read the case of uBid v GoDaddy http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-7th-circuit/2010/09/29/252170.html where UBid drug GoDaddy [an AZ corp.] into Chicago Federal Court over Internet activity based in AZ that was aimed at making money by diverting customers from Ubid by placing ads on parked websites such as ubidd.com that sent users to competitors of Ubid. The US based company can almost certainly be sued in the state where it is domiciled, and for activities directed from headquarters even though done in Canada. If it is shown that this was a ruse to try to avoid jurisdiction, the court is likely to take that as a factor in determining whether personal jurisdiction complies with traditional notions of fairness.
I don't think the ruse of selling the books via the Internet from Canada is going to evade personal jurisdiction if you are deliberately infringing and selling to someone in the US. The US HQ is probably going to allow you to be sued in the US.
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.
You appear not to have considered the fact that there are international copyright treaties. You would need to look at your potential copyright infringement liability in Canada.
The majority of schemes of this sort, whether you label them "creative" or ''scams," are old news. They usually are not well thought out. Courts have seen them before. As to many issues, there is a body of case law that may impose liability on the infringer withour requiring a long, drawn out legal battle.
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J Charles Ferrari
Eng & Nishimura
The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
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