posted Nov 20, 2000

Court to Yahoo: Use Nazi Filter
Country Watch: France
11/20/2000; 1:21:52 PM 'In a landmark ruling with potential implications for Web users around the world, a French court on Monday ordered U.S. Internet giant Yahoo to bar French users from sites selling Nazi memorabilia.

'Judge Jean-Jacques Gomez confirmed a ruling that he first issued on May 22 ordering Yahoo to prevent people in France from accessing English-language sites that auction Nazi books, daggers, SS badges and uniforms....

'Gomez ordered Yahoo to conform with the findings of the panel, submitted on Nov. 6, that a filter system registering keywords could block access to the offending sites for 90 percent of French Web surfers.'

At least this ruling is in touch with reality. 90% blocking may indeed be achievable. 100% isn't, and if they were held liable for every violation, that would quickly become prohibitive.

So, what will the rest of the world do?  You know France isn't the only country that will have its own things it wants to block. In this particular instance, France seems to be OK with the fact that perfection is unachievable, and presumable Yahoo! won't be held accountable for those 10% violations. Will the rest of the world (and the next major issue in France, whatever that may be) be so reasonable?

(Of course, there's still that thorny jurisdiction issue... can France tell Yahoo! USA what to do and make it stick?)


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