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Conflict of Laws Keyed to Brilmayer
LICRA and UEJF v. Yahoo! Inc.
Citation:Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (May 22, 2000)
Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!) is a U.S. corporation and web portal. Yahoo! hosts a U.S.-based auction site that offered for sale Nazi memorabilia, which included flags, stamps, and military souvenirs. A person using a computer in France could access the auction site through links on Yahoo!’s French subsidiary, Yahoo! France, or through Yahoo! directly. Plaintiffs, the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) and the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF), brought suit against Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!) and Yahoo! France (Defendants) in a French court alleging violations of Article R. 645-2 of the French penal code.
Plaintiffs’ asked the court to force Yahoo! to block French users’ access to Nazi objects for sale on its U.S. auction site. Defendants’ argued that the French court was “not territorially competent over the matter” because its auction site was based in the United States. Further, Defendants’ maintained that the restrictions Plaintiffs’ sought to put in place were both technologically impossible and contrary to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which guarantees the right to freedom of speech.
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