Canadian Court Realizes Online Jurisdiction Case Has Nothing To Do With Canada
from the oh-Canada! dept
Earlier this year we wrote about yet another internet jurisdiction case. These cases are showing up quite frequently, unfortunately — and it’s likely that they’re going to keep showing up. The problem is that the internet can be viewed from (almost) anywhere, but whose laws apply to the content? If content is posted in the US for a US audience, but is viewed in Canada, can Canadians sue? Some courts, such as those in Australia have said yes. That can lead to “jurisdiction shopping,” as in a similar case in the UK, where a Saudi Arabian business man sued the Wall Street Journal for libel — but did so in the UK, knowing they had stricter libel laws. This was despite the fact that nothing in the story and no one involved had anything to do with the UK. The case we mentioned back in March was somewhat similar, but with a slight twist. In that case, someone had moved to Canada three years after the article was published — and then decided to sue there. While a lower court had no problem with it, the Ontario Court of Appeals has reversed the ruling, noting that the case has absolutely nothing to do with Canada, and to suggest that someone can be liable for something in a country someone moves to years after publication happens is ridiculous. Of course, that still doesn’t clear up the situation of what would have happened if the guy had lived in Canada all along (though, the court looks over some of the issues). Either way, you can bet that we’ll still see plenty more of these types of cases, because it doesn’t look like the world is going to agree on internet jurisdiction issues any time soon.