Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Yahoo/Nazi Ruling Overturned On A Technicality

from the oh,-those-jurisdictional-issues dept

Back in 2001, a US court ruled that Yahoo didn't have to pay attention to a French court ruling, telling them they couldn't list Nazi items for sale on their auction site. While this eventually led to Yahoo's (then) CEO Tim Koogle being accused of being a war criminal, it did highlight the question of online jurisdictional questions. Well, now those jurisdictional questions have come back around again, and an Appeals Court is ruling that the original court didn't have jurisdiction over this case in the first place. Since the original claim against Yahoo was in France, the US court had no right taking the case in the first place, unless officials in France tried to enforce their law in the US. Still, this is all a bit fuzzy, since the complaint in France really was against things happening in the US. It wasn't against Yahoo France, but about the fact that the main Yahoo auction site was viewable from France, despite being hosted in the US and targeted at US users. The only thing that's been cleared up by this latest ruling is that the courts still don't know what to do about questions of jurisdiction in the online world.

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