posted Nov 08, 2001

Judge: Yahoo not bound by French Nazi ban - Tech News -
Country Watch- France, Free Speech
'A U.S. federal judge ruled Wednesday that Yahoo was not bound to comply with French laws governing Internet content, a decision which could have broad implications for international free speech rights in the Internet age.'

Sanity! Sweet, sweet sanity! Enjoy it while you can, it may be a while before you see any more.

This case has had a long history. Brief review: Yahoo! has a seperate Auctions site for France (as well as many other countries). Yahoo! Auctions in France allowed people to sell Nazi items, illegal in France. France sued them, and issued an order that applied to all of Yahoo, everywhere, that they had to stop selling that stuff in auction. Today's news is that the US will not honor the universal restriction, freeing Yahoo! in the US to continue to sell Nazi items. Yahoo! France still cannot, but that's reasonable.

'"Today the judge basically he said it was not consistent with the laws of the United States for another nation to regulate speech for a U.S. resident within the United States," Worth said.'

Slightly off-topic: This kind of thing is why I am quite against the inevitable-seeming "One World Government". You get the same monoculture effects that you get with a Microsoft monopoly, or in biology. Multiple competing countries is messier in the short term, but in the long term, better for everybody. (The REAL answer is to colonize space, but that still seems unlikely.)



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