Yahoo's Not A French War Criminal, According To The Supreme Court
from the jurisdiction-questions dept
For nearly a decade, we've been discussing jurisdictional questions when it comes to the internet. It's still not entirely clear what laws apply where, and there are definite risks of jurisdiction shopping, as people file lawsuits in countries that have nothing to do with the actual case -- other than having internet available in that country. One of the first such high profile cases involved Yahoo and France. It's illegal in France to sell Nazi-related products, and so Yahoo was sued because its US auction site (not its French site) had Nazi-related products for sale (something the company has since banned anyway). The big question, though, was whether or not Yahoo was bound to follow the laws of France for a US-based site. While the US courts looked into the jurisdiction question, French courts looked into whether it should declare Yahoo and its CEO as war criminals. Eventually, the French courts recognized this was silly and acquitted Yahoo and its then CEO of the charges (and again, on appeal), but the jurisdiction question still stood. Up and down the various levels of the US court system, though, the courts seemed to all agree that France had little jurisdiction over Yahoo's activities in the US. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that the US Supreme Court sees no compelling reason to hear the case itself, suggesting the justices are comfortable with the lower court rulings.