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Yahoo! Not Protected From French Anti-Nazi Laws

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the they-must-hate-speech dept.

Censorship 914

snoopsk writes "An appeals court ruled that Yahoo is not protected from French legal attacks due to Nazi-related items sold on Yahoo's auction site. Backed by the ACLU, Yahoo intends to defend its First Amendment rights should a French court try to enforce French anti-hate laws. This case could have huge implications for free speech online if the French courts are successful in forcing Yahoo to remove this content.
"

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914 comments

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too bad... (4, Interesting)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062503)

There's a simple solution: delete the Yahoo.fr site and shut down all French business units. If Yahoo has no presence in France, their laws won't apply. It's not like France is as imperialistic as America; they can't make their laws transcend their borders. Then the problem becomes the French governments' and how they might block Yahoo.

Re:too bad... (1, Insightful)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062530)

How big a presence does Yahoo have in France anyway?? And how hard would it be to block any browser that appears to come from France, if they even cared that much about it?

Re:too bad... (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062655)

Why do they even need to block French browsers if they don't have a specifically French presence? What exactly can France do to them in that case? Say "go away, or I will taunt you a second time?" It seems to be that in that case, France's problem would be with the French people.

Re:too bad... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062672)

France is served by a good number of ISP's from AOL to Freeserve, and the European satellite service providers. Broadband in France is fairly easy to get since all the telephone lines are shielded to international standards (even in a holiday cottage, it's possible to get 115200 baud).

Although, the biggest obstacle is probably the cost of a computer compared to the average salaries of the French (the majority of the population are in rural locations).
Do a keyword search for the domain .fr, and you will see how much of France is online.

I'm sure it would be fairly simple to ban connections based on the IP address. There are commercial services which allow you to query the host country of an IP address.

Re:too bad... (4, Insightful)

Saxton (34078) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062535)

Do you honestly think Yahoo would give up that easly? C'mon now. Do you think it would be cost-prohibitive to just shut down their french content? Why not try to figure out how we can diplomatically resolve this issue? I'm amazed the parent was modded to a 4.

I'm personally interested in how this all shakes out with conflicting "freedom" laws.

-Aaron

Re:too bad... (1)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062575)

With no French website and no local business units there would be no issue. They can still make content for and money from the French, but do it across the borders. Then it would be up to the government to block the content.

Re:too bad... (2, Insightful)

Saxton (34078) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062587)

With no French website and no local business units there would be no issue

Why not just respect France's anti-Nazi law whilst doing business with the French?

-Aaron

Re:too bad... (0, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062619)

Because we are basically all Americans here and are used to throwing our weight around internationally.

Of course the Slashdotters think that the easiest solution is to either pull out of France (obviously a good idea to lose money when you don't agree with something) or to fight them with an American organization...

Re:too bad... (2, Interesting)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062623)

because the level of oversight required to filter out all such materials (as well as those that are objectionable to other countries who jump in on this when they cave) would be cost-prohibitive?

Re:too bad... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062674)

Because not everybody agrees that we should ignore history. The French government should not have the right to make that decision.

Think about it - how different from pretending that the holocaust never happened is pretending that swastikas don't exist?

Perhaps they are still embarrassed at the way most of them ran away and the rest stayed to help when the Nazis invaded.

Because that would be the french thing to do (-1, Flamebait)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062713)

Because yahoo isn't run by French people. If it were, they would surely capitulate instantenously.

Oh, and doing so would make a serious dent in their bottom line, and they'd have to weigh that against just how much money having a france-specific portal brings in, and wether pulling out physically from france but still offering french language services is a better option.

My proposition: Have no physical presense or employees in france to act against. Continue to otherwise rake in as much dough as possible from french citizens, and fuck their government out of the tax money they need to run their pathetic nanny state.

Re:too bad... (3, Insightful)

bgog (564818) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062728)

Because I simply do not 'respect' anyone who stomps on freedoms. (American laws included) You can't make memory of what the nazi's did go away by pretending it didn't happen.

I can respect cultural differences but not forced laws that are wrong. Example. I respect muslim womens cultural choice to cover their head, if they choose. I DO NOT respect the government making it a law that they must or stoning them for not wearing them.

Respect is earned by respecting others. They don't respect peoples freedoms, why should we respect their laws?

Re:too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062564)

It's not like France is as imperialistic as America; they can't make their laws transcend their borders.

Riiight. Why is the french empire so small? Because the french are lousy at empire building. Who blew up the Rainbow Warrior? The french gov't. What do you call a frenchman advancing on Bagdahd? A uranium salesman. Jacques Chirac was the salesman who sold Hussein a reactor.

A few years ago, france decided to impose a military solution in the ivory coast (a former colony). Did any of the anti-imperialist professional protesters care? Nope.

Re:too bad... (1, Interesting)

harmonica (29841) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062630)

What do you call a frenchman advancing on Bagdahd? A uranium salesman. Jacques Chirac was the salesman who sold Hussein a reactor.

Donald Rumsfeld gave Hussein all kinds of weaponry back in the '80s when Iran was the bad guy and Iraq an ally.

For every thing the French screwed up you can find one the Americans screwed up. And the British. And...

That sort of argumentation doesn't lead anywhere.

Re:too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062637)

Mod the parent up to 5! I am sick of the liberal nerds on slashdot whining about free speech being taken away! The only care if the free speech is theirs being taken away.

Re:too bad... (2, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062576)

Ahh, but is that all that's required to evade French law? Some Internet-related laws extend (or try) to anyone that does business with residents of a particular country. Which means that the existence of French visitors (or customers) to Yahoo.com might be enough.

Re:too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062649)

If you can't beat them, then quit!

WHAT?!? (5, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062505)

Does this mean I have to buy all my Nazi gear on UBid now?

*shucks*

Re:WHAT?!? (-1, Troll)

MarkPNeyer (729607) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062693)

If things keep going the way they are, I hear you might be able to find them at www.GOP.org.

Meow Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062511)

Meow Meow

Shouldn't the FCLU be representing them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062513)

Or does France even have a civil liberties union?

well, don't have operations in france... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062517)

... if you don't want to be subject to french law.

Of course, the fact that france is enforcing an anti-nazi law is quite surprising.

at this rate, france may actually do something about the anti-jewish hatred that runs rampant in france.

Re:well, don't have operations in france... (-1, Troll)

gibbsjoh (186795) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062579)

The anti-Jewish hatred perpetrated by Jews you mean?

Re:well, don't have operations in france... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062692)

The anti-Jewish hatred perpetrated by Jews you mean?

Does this sentence even mean anything?

/ I'm an Anonymous Coward, and I approved this message.

Anti-jewish hatred? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062592)

WTF???

How is a government supposed to stop people believing things in their country? BTW Where the hell did you get the info that there is anti-jewish sentiment in France?

Last I checked french people don't like the U.S., but that doesn't mean that they don't like jews. I hadn't heard that they hated jews ... considering their history, that would seem really weird.

Re:Anti-jewish hatred? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062706)

How is a government supposed to stop people believing things in their country?

According to the French government, by outlawing Nazi paraphenalia and memorabilia.

Bravo (0, Flamebait)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062670)

Excellent troll. I admire your style, one line of genuinely insightfull comment on legal jurisdictions, followed by 2 lines of "I hate frogs" jingoistic rethoric. I'm impressed.

Of course, the fact that france is enforcing an anti-nazi law is quite surprising.

Its not like they were ever, you know, invaded and occupied by Nazis or anything, right?
I'm surprised that years of deprivation under Nazi occupation could leave any stigma like that...who'd have thought?

the anti-jewish hatred that runs rampant in france.

Yup, them frogs sure are racist! [kkk.com]

Re:Bravo (2, Interesting)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062750)

you completely miss the point.

there are frequent occurrences of anti-semitic vandalism in france. it's on the rise, so much so that israel's "move to israel" propaganda is having an effect in france.

Go ACLU!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062518)

er wait, someone shoot me

Ban It (1)

Klar (522420) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062519)

Sure they don't like Nazi stuff, etc, but please, can you really ban that sort of material without banning countless other things? Free speach needs to be protected online.

If they feel this strong about Yahoo's sales items, why not just ban Yahoo in France(like China does with a ton of sites) until, if ever, they feel the need to remove the content.

lets let arin or icann step up (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062520)

The BBC is looking into multicasting for UK isps... I remember these sorts of stories about Google and Ebay and others... Why can't we let IP block decide or .fr or similar? Let us not forget that France's child porn laws I hear are somewhat less than in the US... but also, they they and Germany were the only ones to have the balls to stand up against the US over Iraq, but perhaps that had something to do with oil for food... oh wait... shit... goddamn elections

Here's a link (0, Troll)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062527)

If you RTFA, there's not much background info....Here's a link....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theissues/article/0,6512 ,353264,00.html/ [guardian.co.uk]

IANAE (European), but I have a question (Don't jump on my case, please)....

Why do most European countries insist on covering up any history of Hitler? Yes he was evil, yes he did bad things, but history is history, and not changeable......We in the US do not hide the Civil War, slavery, or even racism. Any insight would be appreciated...

-thewldisntenuff

Re:Here's a link (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062593)

Why do most European countries insist on covering up any history of Hitler?
They don't. Indeed, if you're German, a trip to a concentration camp is part of your schooling. Elsewhere in Europe, World War II, the roots of it, the rise of fascism and Nazism in Germany and elsewhere, the holocaust, etc, are required (compulsory) parts of your education.

Don't confuse the sale and promotion of Nazism and icons thereof with trying to cover up what happened. Europeans do not want that regime glorified. That's why some countries have laws such as this French law.

Re:Here's a link (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062703)

Halting "sale and promotion" of nazi icons is very different to "banning" nazi icons altogether.

Attempting to censor history, even small parts of it is wrong. Hooray for the Germans for teaching kids about the really bad stuff - now please come to your senses and stop worrying about the trivia.

Re:Here's a link (4, Informative)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062608)

They aren't covering up the history; they are trying to stem the popularity of neo-Nazi movements. Memorabilia can be used as icons for such things. Even European museums are relatively devoid of Nazi goods. Most exhibits consist of audio/video footage and are presented in a dry, factual manner.

Re:Here's a link (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062671)

People get a swastika tattooed on their skin, but you can't outlaw people. This memorabilia is basically harmless in this context, unless someone's selling full containers of Zyklon B.

Re:Here's a link (1)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062757)

Historical memorabilia is different than a recreation. The materials in quistion here were actual goods made and used by the Nazi regieme. By French law, a canister of Zyklon B that was used at a cap is illegal, but a reproduction is legal.

Re:Here's a link (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062736)

This is not quite accurate - I have seen many original Nazi posters and other propaganda material in museums in Germany and in other countries in Europe.

I think swastikas are good things actually. It makes neo-nazis easy to identify - forcing them to pick some other symbol is helping them to make a decision they otherwise wouldn't be smart enough to make. It would be as if all dog turds suddenly came with little red flags so you wouldn't step in them any more :-)

Re:Here's a link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062654)

"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm us and neither do we"

Nice. I assume you're trying to make fun of Bush? Here's a clue jackass: If we think of vulnerabilities and protect them before they are attacked, we're better off.

I work at a nuke plant, and we have people whose job it is to sit around and figure out where we are vulnerable (both in terms of nuclear safety and security) so as to remedy the problem.

Bush's statement makes sense to anyone who bothers to think about it for five seconds. You didn't.

Re:Here's a link (4, Insightful)

javaxman (705658) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062673)

We in the US do not hide the Civil War, slavery, or even racism. Any insight would be appreciated...

But we do a fine job of not mentioning the genocide of Native Americans, including but not limited to the fact that Indian Health Service routinely sterilized women as late as 1970 [egilman.com] . Recently we're getting a little better about this, as some modern advanced history books actually talk about stuff like The Longest Walk now, but this stuff happened much longer ago than WWII.

Also, they're not ( in theory ) so much trying to cover up the *history*, as to keep the *current* bunch of Nazis from preaching the gospel of hate, and gaining acceptability through their icons. Not that such a tack is likely to work... but these laws are in fact not unlike anti-gang laws in the US. Except you can still *buy* red and blue bandannas. Just don't try to wear one to school...

Re:Here's a link (1)

Creamsickle (792801) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062760)

But we do a fine job of not mentioning the genocide of Native Americans

I know I'm going further off topic here, but a primary difference between that situation and the present one is that we didn't pass laws saying it was illegal to talk about the Native American abuses; for whatever reason - probably ignorance - it just hasn't gotten the attention it should have. I'd call it a sin of omission, which isn't any good either, but different from what we're talking about here.

Re:Here's a link (0, Flamebait)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062699)

The french capitulated with Hitler more or less 100%. This causes cognitive dissonance in the french mind because they are taught they are the pinnacle of humanity. Thus a few historical details need to be tossed in the memory hole to alleviate this problem.

perhaps you should look at it this way... (1)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062709)

Do you think "Friends of Osama" should be able to openly sell "Celebrating the attack on the Twin Towers" t-shirts (bad example, quickly made up)?

What if they opened a store in Times Square?

Don't you think that might incite a riot or something? Isn't that a bit *too* close to home?

And what if those t-shirts were being used to incite a whole new generation of Osamas to finish what he started? Wouldn't that upset you just a little?

Using Iconography from previous terrors to promote new terrors is not (IMHO) a good thing.

That's my rough interpretation of the French law. Do I agree with it? Not 100%, but I can see where they're coming from.

Yadda yadda 1st amendment or whatever rights (don't ask me, I'm a Brit in LA).

cLive ;-)

Re:Here's a link (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062740)


of course America wouldnt try to hide anything would they ?

out of sight, out of mind perhaps ? [whitehouse.gov] or is it just some people can't handle the truth no matter how horrible it is.

it seems like a lot of countries still have issues they need to face [personal.inet.fi] , from rampant anti-semitism (which presumably France is trying to appease with this yahoo action)

can you see a pattern in all this trouble ?

Irony? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062532)

The problem I have with the French hate laws is that I hate the French!

right... (2, Insightful)

hooded1 (89250) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062539)

So Yahoo is using the American Civil Liberties Union to fight the French, in France over their 1st Amendmants Rights gaurenteed by the United States Contitution. Yeah I can see that going well.
Do you yahoo?

Re:right... (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062572)

!!! good point... People forget that the constitution says nothing about foreign affairs... wonder why the US is so seemingly authoritarian with respects to the world?

Re:right... (4, Informative)

Mold (136317) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062615)

No, they're fighting the French in both countries.

Personally, I think they should just keep it off of their French site (which they already took it off, although they said it wasn't because of the French court), and the French shouldn't try to enforce it on their main, US, site.

Here's a chance for the Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062542)

to test their newly-exercised imperial hegemony. Does the First Amendment to the American Constitution apply within French borders? Specifically, in commerce with French citizens?

French Imperialist!1111!!!!111!!! (3, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062723)

What a stupid comment. The point is not to enforce American laws but to not enforce French laws on the all of the internet. If France wants to set up their own Great Fire Wall, let them. There is no reason why the rest of the Internet needs to bend over backwards and kiss their asses. It isn't an American law being enforced, it is a stupid French law they are trying to shove down the throats of the rest of the Internet. In case it would be the French who are being the "OMFG imperialist!!!!111!!!!"

The Internet can not exactly bend to the lowest common denominator. It can not be subject to the law of EVERY nation. Maybe France just needs to come to grip with free speech. Even better, I would just rather see Yahoo pull out of France. If France wants to censor its citizen, let them. If France wants to cut themselves off from the world because they fear there citizens are too dumb to make informed decisions without the government regulating what they can and can not see, let them. No loss for me.

Pointless laws (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062544)

Yeah, those French anti-Nazi laws seem to be working [news.com.au] real [michnews.com] well [haaretz.com] .

France & conflict (0, Flamebait)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062547)

This is a conflict. Aren't the French supposed to have surrendered by now?

ACLU? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062548)

Is there an FCLU? I don't really see what the ACLU and the First Amendment have to do with france...

Goodbye sovereignty (0, Flamebait)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062549)

How many more times are we going to let the courts, Congress, the President, etc. surrender our national sovereignty like this? Don't we pay them to follow and enforce the law, not surrender it to foreign entities?

Yeah, this'll probably get marked Flamebait for asking such a provoking question.

Re:Goodbye sovereignty (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062663)

They didn't surrender national sovereignty so much as they recognized that even the French have it too.

The 9th Circuit overturned a ruling saying that thhe US First Amendment made the French verdict invalid. That's not a proper ruling at all, you can't appeal French verdicts in the US courts.

However, if they want to collect on a French verdict here in the USA by using the help of the US legal system... that's when they've got to prove that they've French verdict doesn't contradict US public policy. No chance of that working, so there's really no need to get protection from the dumb French verdict from the US courts in the first place, thanks to our national sovereignty we won't accept that verdict here.

Re:Goodbye sovereignty (2, Insightful)

back_pages (600753) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062686)

Yeah, this'll probably get marked Flamebait for asking such a provoking question.

I've got five shiny mod points at the moment, but rather than mod you, I'll take the time to point out that you don't have a "provoking question", you have a "groundless opinion". There's a difference. Thanks for playing.

Seriously, the courts, Congress, and President surrender our national sovereignty like this? Are you fucking kidding me? I'm sure as hell not voting for Bush, but of all the bad things he's done, he hasn't surrendered "our national sovereignty like this".

Maybe if France owned 9% of our economy... maybe if this involved oil... maybe if this involved actually going to war. What the hell are you talking about? This is a freaking WEBSITE that's selling junk on the INTARNET. Surrender our national sovereignty like this? You don't have a "provoking question", hell, you don't have "a clue".

And there ya go - I posted instead of modded. You're welcome.

Re:Goodbye sovereignty (1)

back_pages (600753) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062707)

hahahaha, I should have modded, not posted, since then I wouldn't have screwed up the italics tag. Just call me Ace, I'm this awesome every day.

Re:Goodbye sovereignty (2)

BlueCup (753410) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062691)

This reads like a troll to me, but since you don't seem to have been marked a troll recently, if at all, I'll bite...

How many more times are we going to let the courts, Congress, the President, etc. surrender our national sovereignty like this? Don't we pay them to follow and enforce the law, not surrender it to foreign entities?

This event has nothing to do with our sovereignty, not yet have our rights been surrendered. Another country has expressed a dislike of one of our businesses items, that goes against their laws. Businesses have to accept the laws of the country they do business in... if a company centered in Denmark came here and started selling marijuana even if online, through an american domain, they would be circumspect to our laws, and we would all applaud the ripping apart of that country. Yes, I agree that they shouldn't be offended over something like this, and that they should just let the past be the past, but I do not think we should dictate their laws. The idea that we should be allowed to do that is to that country exactly what in your post you aren't willing to take anymore.

Yeah, this'll probably get marked Flamebait for asking such a provoking question.No, you probably wont be marked Flamebait, but maybe you'll be marked overrated for not thinking before you post.

Re:Goodbye sovereignty (0, Offtopic)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062698)

How many more times are we going to let the courts, Congress, the President, etc. surrender our national sovereignty like this?
Probably about as many times as the we will trample on the sovereignty of other peaceful nations. Remember when the US got Australia to turn over one of their citizens for breaking US law even when no Australian law was broken? If positions were reversed, Americans would have cried bloody murder.

Re:Goodbye sovereignty (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062727)

This case has nothing to do with sovereignty.

France courts are free to do what they want.

Yahoo is free to firewall off its business activity from France.

It would be a reach for Yahoo to try and escalate the case to the WTO, but probably not.

If only it resulted in a bit of a boycot by US-based airlines on Airbus planes... yeah, right.

Maybe we should put together all of our rubber bands to make a slingshot capable of lobbing French's Mustard paks across the Atlantic and do that. Or get Cristo to drop a few million over France and photograph the yellow mess from space.

Re:Goodbye sovereignty (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062732)

Mean time every one is surrendering their personal freedoms to the president, Congress et al in the name of Homeland Security.

If you think the government is intent on serving you then please contact me. I have a nice bridge to sell you.

Data Embargo... (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062555)

I think the most logical course of action should be for Yahoo! to withdraw its entire business from France by firewalling out all IP space known to be from France from all of their products. If France continues to enforce its policies against the American-aimed .com version of American-based sites (rather than their .fr spinoffs which were already Nazi-free-zones) such as Google, they'll eventually be left with a rather useless Internet...

Re:Data Embargo... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062653)

Yes, "the most logical course of action" for any company should always be to cut revenue by as much as possible for no reason other than spite. Good thinking there, brainiac.

Re:Data Embargo... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062684)

I don't see that as requiring a cut in revenue. Take the assets that were being used in France and move them to a part of the world where your operations are welcome and get your revenue there instead.

Some businesses intentionally try to lose customers who cause more problems than their profit potential is worth...

crap shoot (0, Flamebait)

crackshoe (751995) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062561)

the 9th circuit court is a gigantic crapschoot. its the most overturned - their insanely good decisions and their incredibly retarded decisions. from saying that the pledge of alliegance shouldn't be mandatory, the grokster decision, and now this. they've obviously got much better drugs than i do.

Hope the ACLU remembers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062565)

it was the Americans that saved them Frenchmen from saluting to the Fuhrer.

Uhhh... (5, Insightful)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062570)

I know we Americans are criticized a lot for being ignorant of other cultures, but this one might just take the cake?

Yahoo intends to defend its First Amendment rights should a French court try to enforce French anti-hate laws.

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure France isn't bound by the United States Constitution.

Re:Uhhh... (4, Informative)

Mold (136317) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062647)

The problem is, they already removed it from their French website, and the French courts are trying to force them to remove it from their US website.

It's a French court telling a US based company what to do in the US.

Re:Uhhh... (2, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062720)

Well, yahoo isn't bound by the French constitution. At least not unless their servers are hosted in France.

I think the issue is the *sale* of goods to French citizens, regarding which Yahoo might appeal to the World Trade Organization. Of course, China sensor just about everything, and they're part of the WTO now, so I don't see much basis for classifying this as a trade dispute.

But maybe instead of trying to pretend that they can "out-law" anti-semitism by "burning books" (hmm... who else can we think of who made books illegal that they did not agree with?) France might do something about people smashing/vandalizing synagogues?

Jursidiction (2, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062573)

This case could have huge implications for free speech online if the French courts are successful in forcing Yahoo to remove this content.

How so? This case would only have jursidiction in France. If worse comes to worst, just don't do business in France. It sets no legal precedent anywhere else.

Re:Jursidiction (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062680)

...'cept it could have some effect on the EU/EC, which is a much bigger area than France.

I suppose Yahoo will ultimately have to make a France-only website, hosted in France. If only they could just use Bob Roll to help them write a filter to convert all instances of "Paris" to "Paree" in text, and correctly empasize things like "Palace de Versailles" as "Palace <i>de</i> Versailles".

18 posts and no frech jokes (5, Funny)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062581)

Wow, slashdot has become waaay too liberal. I quit.

Better yet, I surrender.

Re:18 posts and no frech jokes (2, Funny)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062599)

Your sir, are evil. Hillarious, but evil.

Anti-hate law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062584)

should a French court try to enforce French anti-hate laws.

Um... aren't the French themselves being hateful by outright banning Nazi-related items.?

Re:Anti-hate law (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062679)

This is no different from US "equal opportunity emplyment". When a company says that it is an equal opportunity employer it means that it does not discriminate against people based on race, gender, sexual orientation etc. But is does not mean that they do not discriminate. For example they can legally refuse to hire someone because they are an ex-SCO employee, while still calling themselves an equal opportunity employer.

I guess if neo-Nazis had as many pressure groups etc as the Jewish people then neo-Nazis could get protection under anti-hate law, but I expect that currently it is OK (legally) to hate neo-Nazis or any Nazi artifacts.

shit? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062588)

Re:shit? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062739)


Mom!!! The Anonymous Coward is drunk again!

What's needed here ... (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062596)

is a nice juicy Free Trade Agreement between France and the US. That way, French law would simply be overruled by US law, and everyone could be happy

Re:What's needed here ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062611)

Including Michael Moore who would lie about it in his next movie. Somehow this would be Bush stomping on French people's rights.

Jews not protected BY French anti-Nazi laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062600)

France sucks.

Who gives a shit about FRANCE? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062607)

Honestly, who gives a shit about FRANCE? they are a bunch of fucking losers, cry babies, and they FUCKING SMELL! (YES! We hate them)

France has never been big on freedom of the press (1, Interesting)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062617)

In fact, thre's a law in France making it a crime to "attack the character of the French President." That, combined with communist control of many of the French journalist's unions, means that many stories (such as all the members of the French government, past and present, who had their hands in the ELF bribery scandal, or, for that matter, the UN Oil-for-food scandel) never get adequately reported in the French press.

At that's to say nothing of the French journalist who got fired for pointing out that the French press were so incompetently pro-Saddam that the were talking about "terrible" American casualties and "fierce" Iraqi resistence right up until Saddam's statue was toppled.

Re:France has never been big on freedom of the pre (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062745)

That, combined with communist control of many of the French journalist's unions, means that many stories [...] never get adequately reported in the French press.

I'm so glad CNN and Fox News aren't in the hands of those dirty commies, so we always get FAIR AND BALANCED reporting from the US press.

Venue issue... (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062618)

Let's put this ruling in the proper context...

The US 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court said that Yahoo! cannot go running to the US courts to seek protection under the First Amendment from the ruling of a French court... go appeal your losses in France in France!

However, in the same breath they also warned the French that should they ever try to take their French verdict to a US court for help in getting collection, don't bother. You can't get protection from bad French verdicts from the US courts in part because, well, French verdicts don't work here in the first place! So long as Yahoo keeps all of its physical assets out of France, there wouldn't be much the French can do to them.

Re:Venue issue... (4, Interesting)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062669)

It just seems to me that if Yahoo wants to do business in France they have to do it by the french book. Make perfect sense to me.

And there are things France can do. They can block the Yahoo-site :)

But this makes the internet and the law problems very interesting.

US-centric thinking, as always (0, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062628)

Yahoo intends to defend its First Amendment rights should a French court try to enforce French anti-hate laws.

Well good luck on that one. Yahoo's lawyer should know better than that. There is no right of free speech in France. Matter of fact, there isn't any such concept pretty much anywhere else but in the US. As a side note, the first amendment is one of the US' greatest gems, that Americans should be proud of around the globe, and it makes me sad to see the current administration tread on it without anybody doing anything about it, but I digress...

In France, there is *SO* no concept of free speech that there are laws to prevent people from saying anything remotely bad about jews. For example, if your opinion is that jews control the banking system and you voice it, you can be prosecuted and sent to jail. Whether or not whatever you say is true, the act of saying it puts you in jeopardy in France.

Remember the Faurisson case? Pr. Faurisson was a revisionist. He thought gas chambers didn't exist and said so. Well, he was prosecuted for some "hate speech" crime or something. If my memory serves me right, I seem to recall Noam Chomsky giving a speech in France about how he thought Faurisson was a crackpot but he should be allowed to expose his nutcase theories freely, and he himself was threatened by a French judge to be careful not to cross the line if he wanted to avoid trouble himself.

So, Yahoo really should know better than provoke the French judicial system. They're positively and admitedly anti free-speech, and wanting to assert "firste amendement" rights in France is as pointless as trying to squelch the KKK in the America.

Surrender! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062645)

Surrender france or we send you yahoo.fr, oh wait, they surrendered already.

isn't it in their fuckedup constitution that they must surrender to every threat and fire back at US whenever they can? (by protecting their nation of pigs and muslims)

For good or ill... (0, Flamebait)

BW_Nuprin (633386) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062661)

...since when do we listen to the French?

i'm having trouble (2, Funny)

illerd (579494) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062664)

I'm having trouble understanding what is peculiar about this particular legal issue. Could someone please highlight the important points for me, making liberal use of bold and italics?

Re:i'm having trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062681)

frenchs are pigs.

Appropriate retaliation (0)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062685)

Sic Tennessee [loundy.com] on France?

The local community standards knife cuts both ways.

Qid pro quo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062711)

You let us sell our Nazi crap and we'll let you sell all the Jerry Lewis retrospective DVDs you frogs can crank out.

Precedent (0, Flamebait)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062715)

A lot more than Yahoo need be worried here. Once there is case law that a the US operations of a company are subject to laws of foreign nations (not that is exactly the case with Yahoo) hungry lawyers will be nipping at everyone and anyone.

Whats to stop a another group in europe suing a US company with only web operations? Who's to say that the final ruling on this wont be stretched to take this instance into account.

The jokes write themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062719)

Come! one! come! all!

Get! your! Naz^H^H^HPetain! paraphernalia! now! on! Yahoo!

Bon jour mon ami

You Only Move Twice... (1)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062729)

Hank: By the way, Homer, what's your least favorite country; Italy or France?

Homer: France.

Hank: [chuckles] Nobody ever says Italy. [sets the coordinates of a giant laser gun]

Counterattack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062730)

What should be our position on this matter?

I think france has just found a way to be hated more, if it's even possible.

the ACLU (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10062733)

We don't hate religion...

we just hate christianity

Am I the only one who noticed this? (1)

nbert (785663) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062734)

Yahoo intends to defend its First Amendment rights should a French court try to enforce French anti-hate laws

Yahoo certainly has first ammendment rights in the USA, but France isn't part of the US. How are they going to defend a law or right, which isn't part of the french legal system? That's like using the Basic Constitutional Law (aka constitution) of Germany in Vanuatu.

Just take a look at the Foreign Claims Act in the US if you want to know how local law can have much influence on global acting companies.

first amendment rights? (1)

JoshWurzel (320371) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062747)

"Yahoo intends to defend its First Amendment rights should a French court try to enforce French anti-hate laws"

I must have missed a day in Euro history. Does France have a first amendment that protects free speech?

Look folks, enforcing our laws in other countries isn't going to be any easier if we insist they have to NUMBER them the same way, too!

Easy.. (1, Flamebait)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 10 years ago | (#10062748)

Easy.. Yahoo! = American company.. Fuck the French!
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