Yahoo! off the hook in Nazi Memorabilia Case

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Source Title:
Semel: Paris Court Absolves Yahoo! In Nazi Memorabilia Case
Story Text:

Yahoo! can finally breathe a sigh of relief over the Nazi memorabilia case that's been a long running worry for the big wigs of Y!

Forbes reports...

company was cleared of any legal responsibility for auctions of Nazi paraphernalia formerly held through its Web site. In 2003, a Paris court ruled that Yahoo! and its then chief executive, Timothy Koogle, never sought to "justify war crimes and crimes against humanity"-- the accusation leveled at the company by human rights activists, Holocaust survivors and their families. The case against Yahoo! began in 2000, when France's Union of Jewish Students and the International Anti-Racism and Anti-Semitism League sued the Internet portal for allowing Nazi memorabilia to be sold on its auction pages.


It's possibly quite ephemeral

Problem is, they're still banned from allowing this stuff being promoted by their users/clients.

Same for eBay in Germany. E. g. they've got filters in place prohibiting the sale of books featuring the abbreviation "SS" in the title or description.

So what do vendors do? They substitute it for "XX", and bingo! Unless some watchdogs point it out to their admins, the stuff will still be sold with impunity. Meaning that the company may yet again be held liable some day if people are set on fighting it out in the courts. (Note: in Germany, it's even illegal to link to potentially illegal content - full liability incurred. Which is why practically every site featuring outgoing links (and be it only to eBay or Y!, heh) will put up a wordy disclaimer FWIW.

Other jurisdictions may have similar, possibly even more restrictive regulations in place (e. g. China, Singapore, etc.).

Follow the money: the legal situation across the board is far from clear so we may see follow up cases anytime if people feel there's money to be squeezed out of the big players.

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