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INFRINGEMENT ABROAD THROUGH THE INTERNET COURTS CONFLICT OVER PERSONAL JURISDICTIONS

Cincinnati, OH |

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND THOSE MEMBER COUNTRIES, have no set rules or case laws that deal directly with copyright infringement and jurisdiction from acts abroad. Bonding U.S registered Copyrights to have jurisdiction on U.S. grounds when infringement happens via the Internet. Is anyone aware of any case laws that deal with this very subject?

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer
Posted

You quite clearly need to sit down with a copyright attorney to discuss your potential infringement claim. For fun, you can read some of the case law about the extraterritorial reach of the U.S. copyright laws and how U.S.-registered copyrights may be enforced in countries [like Canada] that are members of the Berne Convention. See http://goo.gl/dWchC

You must know this, however: You are in way over your head with this legal analysis and simply delusional if you think that without an attorney you have any shot at collecting any amount of money from the folks who you think are infringing your ringtones. There is no getting around having to hire a copyright attorney. Just like there would be no getting around having to hire a doctor to take out your appendix. Or a financial adviser to help you buy derivative stock options. Or hiring any expert about anything else that you know nothing about and can never learn enough to be competent to perform yourself. Good luck.

The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.

Asker

Posted

You’re correct, there is no win with a Pro Se to changeling this complex area of law it's just saddens me to read that the Internet is a present safe haven to infringe on U.S copyrights and market them abroad to subscribers in foreign countries. Even the Berne Convention rules there are no case laws for U.S. Federal courts to form a basis of Jurisdiction other than possible torts or long arm statues, which foreign companies know arguments can be made which ultimately ends in the dismissal of the cause for lack of Jurisdiction when infringement occurs over the internet in a foreign county to residents of that county. I am currently saving up; I have a few firm interests in my case.

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Posted

If you have a "few firm interests" in your case then you need to have those attorneys re-think there personal jurisdiction analysis. If a company resident in the United States infringes a U.S.-registered copyright overseas then that company can be sued in the U.S. for those acts of infringement occurring overseas. My suspicion is that you simply cannot afford to pay the attorneys' fees to bring the suit -- not that the law does not permit you to bring it in the first place. It's a life lesson that every wrong does NOT have a remedy. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

You’re correct about the funding, however I filed the case waiting for all parties to be properly served through the Office of the clerk. I am now just saving. However I was just reading information on scholars who have touch on this very subject and they all point to case law as a factor to determine proper jurisdiction many cases have been dismissed in situation like what I spoke about others have won when minimum contact with the forum state have occurred. looks like improper service of process and proper jurisdiction allow for an over whelming amount of cases to get dismissed even when lawyers and law firms take on cases regarding Copy right infringement over the internet. Thank you so much i don’t intend on representing myself.

Posted

Because your facts regarding infringement are missing no one can advise you as to which laws may be applicable.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

Asker

Posted

Is Canada a law abiding country? The defendant has offices based in the U.S. and began selling my ringtones through an interactive website, then upon notice of decease of desist they placed my ringtones to be sold to Canada and Canada residents. This was an attempt to avail themselves from copyright infringement claims.

Posted

There are plenty of ways to deal with infringement that originates from law abiding countries, such as Germany, France, Argentina, Brazil, Singapore, Japan, etc. My guess (as you did not provide details) is that you are dealing with infringement from an outlaw nation, or one that has a poor record of protecting foreign copyrights. That is a big issue, and one that is receiving a lot of attention from our Government. Nonetheless, as you seem to suspect, little can be done right now.

This answer is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. If you ignore this warning and convey confidential information in a private message or comment, there is no duty to keep that information confidential or forego representation adverse to your interests. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction before taking any action that may affect your rights. If you believe you have a claim against someone, consult an attorney immediately, otherwise there is a risk that the time allotted to bring your claim may expire.

Asker

Posted

Is Canada a law abiding country? The defendant has offices based in the U.S. and began selling my ringtones through an interactive website, then upon notice of decease of desist they placed my ringtones to be sold to Canada and Canada residents. This was an attempt to avail themselves from copyright infringement claims.

Posted

This sounds like a homework assignment in which you have muddled the question so it is not clear what you are asking. That being said, one case you can read is Gator v. L. L. Bean, 341F.3d 1072 (9th Cir 2003) which discusses personal jurisdiction in an internet context.

This answer is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all of the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much for the information. I have read this before and most importantly the burden to show proper jurisdiction rest on Plaintiff even when they are being wronged. These cases deal with activity in the state and contact with the state even in copyright infringement. These cases do not deal with an internet website that is intended to infringe on US copyrighted work, and the infringers domain address list a foreign country and there website’s content is also market to residents of a foreign county. There seems to be no cases that point to this factor.

Posted

Our office deals with international law issues. Feel free to contact me. Best

This reply is offered for educational purpose only. You should seek the advice of an attorney. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the undisclosed individual asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York Law unless stated otherwise. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Service guidance, be advised that any federal tax advice contained in this written or electronic communication is not intended or written to be used and it cannot be used by any person or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding any tax penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service or any other U.S. Federal taxing authority or agency or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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