If i provide an online service/app to the world which is legal in my country/jurisdiction but might not be legal in other locations, what i have to do or what might happen to me?

I mean every jurisdiction cant expect that i check the laws of every country/jurisdiction and do country blocks for example, right?

Might some informations in my terms be enough, something like (for example):

... We do not intend to offer the service in prohibited jurisdictions. If you are located in a prohibited jurisdiction, you may not use the service, even if it is accessible on your device. You will be solely responsible for any legal consequences of using the service in a prohibited jurisdiction. ...

Best wishes


2 Answers 2


I mean every jurisdiction cant expect that i check the laws of every country/jurisdiction and do country blocks for example, right?

Right? Wrong!

It is your duty to know the law that applies to you. If you make your service/app available in a jurisdiction then you are deemed to know what the law is and you are required to follow it.

For example, Valve software (the owners of the Steam platform) thought Australian Consumer Law didn’t apply to them because they were a US corporation and the contract was under Washington, USA law. A multi-million dollar mistake.

  • Interesting, i feel this mean that it is basically almost impossible to publish an App that might be legal in every country, at least for small companies, indies or private persons. The costs for the required international law research must be incredible high. So i also would claim that if its true what you´r saying that basically "all" Apps on playstore (for example) published by solo developers, indies or companies that, lets say, have "less" money or knowledge could be already illegal in different jurisdictions... I dont get how this whole market even still exists then... Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 12:36
  • @DLLDevStudio and why do you think Apple (for example) would expose themselves to prosecution by hosting illegal apps? Why would I prosecute an indie developer with no money when I can prosecute Apple and get multi-million (even billions) in fines?
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 12:38
  • So, the hosts like Google or Apple use "hundreds" of pages filled with disclaimers trying to get rid of juristical issues and in the other view it means that basically, the Playstore (for example) is hosting/offering probably the biggest pool of international crime that exists and "nobody" is prosecuting?! :-) Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 12:47
  • 1
    The link you provided says that the reason that Valve ended being on the hook is that it had $1.2 million worth of servers in Australia and that Valve stored some consumer data on servers in Australia.
    – grovkin
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 20:19
  • @grovkin if you read the judgement it was because Valve was supplying to Australian Consumers. Those were factors that proved they were but they still would have been even if all data was held offshore.
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 20:49

There are no magic disclaimers that can immunize you against legal actions in all jurisdictions in the world. Theoretically there are tens of thousands of jurisdictions that might come after you, and you cannot possibly know all of the laws. You cannot even know with certainty what the law is in your own state in the US, because courts are constantly "discovering" the true meaning of what vague legal documents assert. This is why you hire an attorney: to get the best-possible advice as to the legal risks. You can't be sure if your actions will be deemed to violate anti-trust laws, but you can get reasonable advice as to how likely it is that an action of yours will end you up in legal trouble. So you need an awful lot of lawyers, or a really well-read lawyer, one competent in law not just of the US, but also Canada, Australia... hard to say where to draw the line. There are myriad legal firms that specialize in knowing the laws of multiple major jurisdictions.

If you are sued in North Korean court, the chances that any judgment against you will ever be enforced are negligible, because NK judgments (if there is such a thing) are not recognized in US courts. Step one is the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act, which your state may have adopted (or maybe not) – of course that is irrelevant if you are in Mongolia and not the US. If the basis of the foreign judgment in the foreign country is contrary to US constitutional law, the judgment will not be recognized. If your app insults national leaders and you are sued in Germany for this, you may lose your assets in Germany but they can't get the judgment recognized in US courts (you have a First Amendment right to insult national leaders).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .