Yahoo! Seeks Legal Protection in Nazi Case

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Source Title:
Yahoo Lawyers Ask Court for Protection
Story Text:

AP report that Yahoo! lawyers asked a US appeals court to protect them against the $15M fine levied by a french court four years ago for allowing French users to buy and sell Nazi memborabilia.

Yahoo attorney Robert Vanderet said the human rights groups might try to collect, and that Yahoo isn't the only Internet portal that needs to know whether U.S. courts would shield American companies from being liable abroad for lawfully protected speech originating in America.

"Yahoo needs assurances that that order is not enforceable in the United States," Vanderet told the panel.

This is something of interest to many, not just Americans - if i publish something here from Denmark, and it's hosted in the US but illegal in France, where/what/how?

Confusing isn't it?


Not confusing

I don't think it's confusing, but I find it embarising that some companies apparently don't think law applies to them.

In Europe, as well as in the US (however with variations) it is the country to which you market that counts - not where you are from and even less where your servers are. It's long time since you could host a bunch of MP3 (or other illegal content) on a server abroad and get away with it from your home in the US or Europe. Some of the first cases I remember here was some pedophiles from Germany that, thanks God, got busted even though their servers was some place out of reach and jurisidction. What count is you, where you are and where you "market" (or make availabel) your content.

Pharmacy producers have to live with this too, and so do gambling sites and many others that deal in stuff that are only legal in some countries, or states and not in others.

I am not 100% sure of the details in the American law in this areas but I know for a fact that in Europe the marketing laws here count if you market to European people - even if you or your company is from the US - or anywhere else for that matter. Off course, if you ever got convicted, like Yahoo, and if you have no values or assests here in Europe I guess it could be hard to actually collect the money but that is not the case with Yahoo and many other multinational companies. They do have assets and operations here.

I find it very unlikely that a french court would ever accept a US ruling that reject a previous ruling made by the same court system.

With this I am not saying weather or not Yahoo should have been convicted in this particular case. I am just saying that I think we have to accept that nations make their own laws and chose to protect, or not, their people the way they want. The greater "political" fight of giving all people access to all information is not won by violating exsisting laws and starting fights between nations but by trying to come to global agreements on how to deal with this.

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