Thursday, April 12, 2012

International Copyright Enforcement

The good news: Due to treaties, you can be fairly assured of protection for your copyrighted materials in foreign jurisdictions. The bad news: Enforcement by suit in foreign jurisdictions in foreign languages and under foreign laws is not exactly attractive. Fortunately, there are the following US enforcement tools:

First, you should place the copyright notice on all published materials, although not strictly necessary for protection of your copyright. Then, you should register the copyright with the USPTO to place the world on notice of your right to stop infringers who would otherwise act in good faith.

Second, expressly cover in any licensing agreements with foreigners your limits on copying and distribution of your copyrighted materials, especially including provisions that bind them to your US law and US courts.

Even without the above, you may file suit under US law in a US court, if your copyrighted materials are being imported into the US without permission. This also applies to copies of your copyrighted materials made outside the US and imported into the US. And, exporting your copyrighted materials from the US and selling same without your permission is unlawful under US law and you may sue in the US under US law.

Important Proviso: The above material does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Each locality has differing laws. A legal matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved without a comprehensive review and analysis of all the unique facts and laws at issue by an able attorney. Your matter may result in a loss of rights if you do not timely retain such an attorney.

Contact: If you would like to discuss this matter further in a more private forum, please feel free to contact me directly at the email address provided through my firm’s website located at