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Yahoo!, Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme et L'Antisemitisme
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
169 F. Supp. 2d 1181 (2001)
In LICRA et UEJF v. Yahoo! Inc., a French court ordered Yahoo!, Inc. (Yahoo) (plaintiff) to take measures to block French users from accessing content that violated French law. Yahoo had been sued in France by La Ligue Contre Le Racisme et L’Antisemitisme (LICRA) and L’Union des Etudiants Juifs de France (UEJF) (defendants), two organizations whose mission was to fight against the trivialization of Nazism. Yahoo’s alleged violation of French law consisted of allowing Nazi paraphernalia and other materials glorifying Nazism to be auctioned on Yahoo.com. The items were accessible to French users visiting the site. In attempting to comply with the French order, Yahoo found itself technologically unable to prevent French users from accessing the auction site. Thus, it addressed the order by forbidding all users from auctioning items that glorified Nazism. The policy gave discretion to Yahoo in permitting the auction of items of an expressive nature, such as books and media. Notwithstanding the policy, Nazi-related items still found their way onto the site. Yahoo filed a declaratory judgment action in a federal court in California, seeking a declaration that the French order was not enforceable in the United States because Yahoo could not comply with it without excluding the challenged items entirely in violation of the First Amendment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Fogel, J.)
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