Yahoo appeals to U.S. District Court
December 27, 2000 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Yahoo appeals to U.S. District Court to avoid being regulated by the French government. This is one of the first important cases testing jurisdiction on ecommerce sites, and neither side appears to be backing down.
posted by jed (5 comments total)
I think that Yahoo should be held liable for content on their French servers, but the precedent of holding an American company to French laws because they auction goods legal in their physical location is disturbing.
posted by jed at 8:55 PM on December 27, 2000

It would be great if some court somewhere set the precedent that the country with the more restrictive speech laws was responsible for blocking sites it finds inappropriate, rather than the site having to water down its speech to the lowest common denominator of international norms.

It'd be far easier for France to make French ISPs block access to Yahoo's US auction site than for them to get Yahoo to stop carrying the offensive merchandise. Not, of course, that I think it's a particularly good idea for a country to block any site, but at least a French court has the jurisdiction to make it so.

posted by kindall at 7:47 AM on December 28, 2000

"The fact that this case is in California doesn't scare us, and it doesn't impress us either."

Damn! I thought we could scare them away with California! *Everyone* is afraid of California!

And what's the deal in general? Don't they understand there is *no way* to block French people from viewing any site open to the internet at large? What, as long as we can keep the less intelligent users out, it's okay if a few people can see it?

And do they go after any other Nazi sites? Shouldn't they be trying to censor the 756,000 sites that (according to google) have the word nazi on them? Huh, the top five hits are all about this case...
posted by whatnotever at 9:11 AM on December 28, 2000

Actually, kindall, you're wrong. It's far easier for France to try to censor Yahoo than it would be for them to do that blocking. It may take a while, but if this one works, the next one will be a cinch (rollover). The onus of censoring Americans is also far less, since Americans don't vote in French elections. French voters might not take kindly to their ISPs blocking Yahoo.
posted by dhartung at 12:05 PM on December 28, 2000

Well, no; it's impossible for France to enforce French law on a company not in France. It's merely enormously difficult for them to block their citizens' access to Yahoo auctions.
posted by kindall at 4:30 PM on December 28, 2000

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