French Court Rules in Favor of Yahoo in Internet Free Speech Case
A court in Paris has dismissed criminal charges against Yahoo!, Inc. and its former CEO, Tim Koogle, in a criminal prosecution involving the auction of Nazi memorabilia on Yahoo's auction site. The case was closely watched around the world because it appeared to open up Internet providers to prosecution anywhere in the world even if their activities were legal in their home countries. Today, a French criminal court dismissed all charges, holding that Yahoo never tried to "justify war crimes [or] crimes against humanity." Although this decision does not address the important jurisdictional issues raised by France's actions, it does support free expression online by reflecting a better understanding of the appropriate role of providers and hosters of material online.