Brazil Wants Another Google Site -- YouTube -- Shut Down
from the good-luck-with-that dept
Once again, the question of who has legal jurisdiction over the internet and sites on it comes into question. US courts tend to agree that online companies are bound by the laws of the country in which they're based, while there are continual efforts by groups like record companies and even some governments to assert that if an internet site can be reached from a particular place, it's subject to its laws and the jurisdiction of its courts. This leads to a problem of jurisdiction shopping, where people file lawsuits in unrelated countries to take advantage of their legal environments. Jurisdiction shopping, of course, isn't a new phenomenon, but the internet makes it a little easier. This is a sticky subject: the idea that anybody can be sued anywhere in the world for something the post online isn't a particularly appealing one, but many people don't have a problem with local laws being used to chase after criminals abroad when it comes to things like child pornography. So where is the line drawn, and who gets to determine it? While international treaties govern all sorts of things, international court systems have often been undermined by these very types of questions about jurisidiction.