Naples, FL asked in Civil Litigation, Federal Crimes, International Law and Internet Law for Florida

Q: Which country has jurisdiction for a marketing email sent internationally?

I am a United States citizen, I reside and conduct business in the United States. I have a website that is visible and conducts business worldwide. If I send a marketing email to a user in India, and say I make a mistake and do not unsubscribe the user on his request, which is legal in India, but illegal under CAN-SPAM in the US, have I broken any law? Can I be sued by the Indian in the US under CAN-SPAM and he be awarded a default civil judgement, or can I be criminally prosecuted in the US? Can I be sued/prosecuted in both countries? What are the requirement for personal contacts/jurisdiction in this case?

1 Lawyer Answer
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: If you are doing business in the U.S., and if in the course of so doing business you violate a U.S. federal statute, presumably you can be sued in the U.S. for damages resulting from such violation. If the statute includes a fine (in addition to actual damages), the plaintiff could recover those damages as well.

You indicate that your conduct is not a violation of Indian law; in that case you probably cannot be sued in Indian courts.

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