Most people are familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or “DMCA” in relation to the online copyright environment. But does the DMCA apply outside of the United States?
We address the issue in the following video:
However, this conclusion is not the end of the story. Parties located outside of the country who are attempting to tap the U.S. market online can still be caught up in the DMCA. If one’s host or Google, for example, receive a DMCA takedown notice, those companies are likely going to comply with the law regardless of where you are located – the practical versus the technical, if you will.
Ah, but what if you just file a counter-notice to the DMCA takedown complaint? The law in this area is complicated. For a counter-notification to be valid, the person presenting it must submit to the jurisdiction of the federal courts in the United States. This submission allows the copyright owner to sue you in the United States. If you do not appear, the court can go ahead and enter a judgment against you for copyright infringement.
What happens then? The copyright owner will retain a law firm in your country to enforce the judgment. The firm will seek a court order enforcing the judgment against you with the judge ruling in the case based on the laws of your country. In many cases, a treaty or international law can form the basis for enforcing the monetary judgment. In others, enforcement is not possible. The one thing we can be sure of is you will spend a significant amount of money on attorneys fees and court costs litigating the matter.