Asked in Copyright and International Law for California

Q: I'm an American but live overseas. I've been threatened with a copyright lawsuit from an Attorney in the USA.

Would they have to serve me here in Germany to proceed, and would I have to go to the States to respond? I have a U.S. business mailing address but am a legal resident of Germany.

The second part of the question is that through my research their 'client' might not actually own the copyright on the photo I used. Another company is issuing license rights for it and says they hold the copyright. If I buy a license after the fact would that help or is it even necessary? I have deleted the photo from my website already.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: This can be complicated.

In theory they can serve you and you should answer the lawsuit.

You could claim no jurisdiction if you live and work and the infringement happened as result of your actions in Germany.

Talk to an American attorney to understand your options better.

You can try to negotiate with them and see how you can settle.

If you have no assets in the USA and you lose the lawsuit they would have to try to enforce the judgment in Germany.

Best luck

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