What Happens when Someone Claims Copyright Infringement Overseas?

by Apr 22, 2017

Where in the world can you take action for copyright infringement?

The topic for today is copyright.

Our client has received a letter of demand from Germany.

Now, you are not obliged to go to the courts somewhere else in the world if on your website you have terms and conditions that say the governing law is Australia, or if on your piece of material it says the governing law is Australia. Copyright laws are similar internationally in line with treaties, but are limited by country if you want to take legal action. If you specify the governing law you are in a position to argue that an action started somewhere else in the world is outside its jurisdiction.

So in our client’s case, the dispute is in regard to a book cover. The inside cover states that the governing law is Australia, it’s published by an Australian company and the artist involved is based in Germany.

We have told the German lawyer, “If you want to take action against our client, come here to Australia and take action here.”  Because even if there is a decision in Germany, they can’t enforce it against our client in Germany because the client has no property there. That means they can’t make our client pay unless they come here to Australia and execute against the client’s property here in Australia. So they have an uphill battle in front of them.

When you’re being pursued by someone from overseas for a copyright issue, remember it’s going to be hard for them to get money out of you if they’re in another country. 

How can Onyx Legal help you?

If you are worried that someone is infringing your rights under copyright law, or you receive a letter alleging that you are infringing copyright law, make an appointment so that we can help you chart a way forward.