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Yahoo's change of venue

August 28, 2007

In a famous case back in 2000, a French court ordered Yahoo to remove Nazi memorabilia from its auction pages because the sale of such merchandise is prohibited in France. Yahoo officials reacted with outrage, claiming that the French court had no authority over a U.S.-based Internet company like Yahoo. Yahoo's top French executive, Philippe Guillanton, argued, according to a Reuters report at the time, that "the ruling ran against the international nature of the World Wide Web":

Guillanton said his company could also seek to bring the matter before a U.S. court. "Yahoo.com is not doing anything unlawful. It is completely complying with the law of the country in which it operates and where its target audience is," he said. "Yahoo auctions in the U.S. are ruled by the legal, moral and cultural principles of that country."

Times change, and so do companies. Yesterday, Yahoo argued that a lawsuit brought against it in a U.S. court by Chinese dissidents should be thrown out because the case belongs in Chinese courts. Reports Infoworld:

In a filing Monday, Yahoo told the court that the lawsuit, which seeks to hold Yahoo accountable for the imprisonment and torture of the plaintiffs, should be tossed out [for] various reasons, among which being that the U.S. justice system is the wrong venue for the case. "This is a lawsuit by citizens of China imprisoned for using the internet in China to express political views in violation of China law. It is a political case challenging the laws and actions of the Chinese government. It has no place in the American courts," the 51-page filing reads.

This time, Yahoo executives are making no mention of "the legal, moral and cultural principles" of the U.S.


Yes, Nick. Companies do often suck.

Posted by: Sam Hiser [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 30, 2007 10:18 AM

Is it companies or the way people in Yahoo's country of origin consider International laws? Americans abroad always adress to you in English, without even asking if it suits you; just try to apologizes in Spanish in the USA, and you'll see the meaning of double standards...

Posted by: Bertil [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 31, 2007 05:41 AM

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