December 27, 2000
Filed under Free Expression
In a setback for free expression on the Internet, a French court has ruled that U.S.-based Yahoo, Inc. is liable under French law for allowing French citizens to access auction sites including Nazi memorabilia. CDT believes that holding all Internet publishers liable for the constantly changing and potentially restrictive laws of every country and municipality in the world could have a chilling affect on speech and commerce online. November 20, 2000 Update: The second-highest court in Germany recently handed down a ruling similar to the one in France. The German court ruled that an Australian web site owner--whose web site questioning the Holocaust is illegal in Germany but not in Australia--could be jailed for violating German speech laws. December 15, 2000 Update: An Italian court has also recently issued a similar ruling regarding a case of libel carried out online."