Jews Versus Yahoo: The Courts and the Internet: Yahoo and Illegal NAZI memorabilia sales in France

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[Here is an extremely interesting court case that was fought in France and was even fought in America. This is how the courts resolved the matter. Selling NAZI Memorabilia was illegal in France, but it was not illegal in America. LICRA, the global organisation behind this case seems to be some kind of Jewish instigated organisation. They fought the case in France and tried to use the law in the USA. Now a KEY LEGAL ISSUE HERE, seems to be that the French court fined Yahoo, but could not collect the money from Yahoo. I suspect that Yahoo did not have offices or funds in France which could be seized. So LICRA then tried to get the American Legal system to grab the money from Yahoo in America. Yahoo's argument was that they're an American company and are not subject to French law. But the French court has jurisdiction in France and fined them $13,300 PER DAY until they took the NAZI stuff down. LICRA tried to force the US Marshals service to seize the money, but they REFUSED! The nYahoo smacked LICRA in California with a lawsuit. You have 2 global organisations fighting each other. LICRA is in France and starts by smacking Yahoo in a French court and winning, but the French court order can't be enforced on Yahoo, because (most likely) Yahoo does not have a registered business in France. But Yahoo hits back, by smacking LIRCRA in California – why? – Because that is where Yahoo is really located. In the court battle in Northern California the district effectively agreed with Yahoo! that it should not be subjected to a French court ruling. So then LICRA appealed this decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the USA. The Circuit Court then overturned the district court's view. The Circuit Court basically said that the issue in the French Court could not be judged in an American court. The term "ripe" is a legal term that I won't bother you with now. The way this ended is interesting. The Circuit Court did not concern itself with morality or any of that stuff. It said that this French law had nothing to do with America and that Yahoo can comply with French law by refusing sales on a case-by-case basis. In the end, French Law could not be forced on Yahoo, but Yahoo could, if it wished, comply with French Law by refusing to sell items in France if it wished. What is really important is what Yahoo did in the end. They had won in court, but in the end, they complied with French Law in order to avoid further litigation and harassment by Jews. Jan]

Here is the most critical final summary by the Circuit Court in America: "The circuit court noted that this ruling was focused purely on jurisdiction, for both the French court in its order for Yahoo! to take down material and pay a fine, and LICRA’s attempts to enforce that order. The circuit court avoided any discussion of the morality of buying and selling Nazi memorabilia or France’s motivations in suppressing that type of business activity.[1] Also, Yahoo! had the ability to refuse certain auctions on a case-by-case basis and to refuse shipping to certain locations, and the circuit court found that those were sufficient for addressing the controversy in France."

This is what Yahoo finally did despite winning in court:
Despite the legal victory in the U.S., Yahoo! eventually decided to comply with the French court’s order. In January 2001, Yahoo! announced that it would no longer allow the auction of Nazi memorabilia on its websites globally. This decision effectively addressed the concerns raised by LICRA and Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF). By taking this action, Yahoo! aimed to navigate the complex legal landscape and avoid further litigation.

Here’s the full Wikipedia article. It isn’t long. It is a fascinating read:

Yahoo! Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme et l’antisemitisme, 433 F.3d 1199 (9th Cir. 2006), was an Internet jurisdiction case of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, on whether American courts must help enforce penalties against American-operated websites that had been enacted by other nations.[1]

Background
Selling or displaying Nazi artifacts is illegal in France, but some French users of auction and retail sites hosted at the international yahoo.com site were buying and selling such items. French anti-discrimination groups led by La Ligue Contre Le Racisme et l’antisemitisme (League Against Racism and Antisemitism, or LICRA) filed suit in French court, claiming that Yahoo! was violating French law by allowing French Internet users to buy the Nazi antiques on websites hosted outside of the country.[1][2]

Yahoo! claimed that as an American company, it was not subjected to French law. Regardless, the French court determined that the company had violated French law and charged the company a penalty of 100,000 Francs (about $13,300) per day until all listings for Nazi artifacts were taken down or made inaccessible for French users. While the local operators of yahoo.fr added warnings for users and worked to take down some listings for Nazi memorabilia, Yahoo! resisted taking similar measures for its general sites that are accessible around the world. Yahoo! also refused to pay the penalty, again citing a lack of jurisdiction for the French court that instituted the penalty.[1]

Believing that Yahoo!’s refusal to pay the fine was a violation of the Hague Convention, which requires international cooperation to settle war crimes (with the Nazis as the criminals), LICRA contacted the United States Marshals Service and suggested that the Marshals should enforce the ruling of the French court, by collecting the daily fine from Yahoo! and ordering the company to take down the offending material from all its sites on the World Wide Web. The Marshals declined to take action but informed Yahoo! of the request.[1]

Yahoo! filed suit in the district court for the Northern District of California against LICRA, arguing that the organization’s demands were moot because the French courts did not have jurisdiction to charge the penalty, and that the French court’s order to take down offending material was untenable under Yahoo!’s free speech rights as an American company. More specifically, Yahoo! requested declaratory relief on whether the French court order was enforceable against them as an American company. LICRA argued that the American court did not have jurisdiction over them, so they should retain the ability to utilize the U.S. Marshals to enforce an international legal order.[3]

The district court determined that it did have personal jurisdiction over LICRA because it was requesting law enforcement actions in that court’s territory. Then the district court ruled against LICRA’s motion to dismiss the suit, effectively agreeing with Yahoo! that it should not be subjected to a French court ruling.[3] LICRA appealed this decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Opinion
The question before the Ninth Circuit was whether it and other American courts have jurisdiction over LICRA as a French organization requesting law enforcement action in the United States. Applying the Calder Test on determining personal jurisdiction in international legal disputes, the circuit court ruled that LICRA’s request would not require significant actions by Yahoo! because the French court order was unenforceable in the United States. Therefore the circuit court held that it, and the lower court, did not have jurisdiction in the dispute.[1]

This overturned Yahoo’s victory at the district court, but this was also a loss for LICRA because the circuit court ruled that the dispute was not adjudicable in the United States at all. As an international dispute with unclear procedures on how to enforce or acknowledge the French court order, the case was not ripe for adjudication in American courts.[1]

The circuit court noted that this ruling was focused purely on jurisdiction, for both the French court in its order for Yahoo! to take down material and pay a fine, and LICRA’s attempts to enforce that order. The circuit court avoided any discussion of the morality of buying and selling Nazi memorabilia or France’s motivations in suppressing that type of business activity.[1] Also, Yahoo! had the ability to refuse certain auctions on a case-by-case basis and to refuse shipping to certain locations, and the circuit court found that those were sufficient for addressing the controversy in France.[1]

Impact
The ruling has been cited as an important early precedent in efforts by governments to regulate the Internet at the international level, when trying to maintain democratic or cultural norms.[4] The continuing confusion over the ability of one nation to regulate the users and designers of a foreign website, which by definition is accessible around the world via the World Wide Web, was widely discussed by regulators and experts due to the outcome of this case.[5][6]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo!_Inc._v._La_Ligue_Contre_Le_Racisme_et_l%27Antisemitisme



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