2.11.2009

"Jurisdictional Whack-a-Mole"

David Post posts on "More Crazy Internet Jurisdictional Stuff" at VC.  He raises some relevant issues to ponder.

Post shares the story of Google execs presently standing trial in Italy over a controversial online video.  He then moves into a sound summary of the problems of jurisdiction in the global internet landscape, including the divergence between U.S. legal policy (which grants broad 3rd party content immunity for internet intermediaries) and EU legal norms (which are generally far less hospitable to American conceptions of free speech, etc.).  The cases and issues that mark the transatlantic split bring to mind the discussion I had with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger last semester about the coming skuffle as U.S. conceptions of free speech butt up against - or are evangelized to - the rest of the world.

We're currently covering immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (the portion not struck down by SCOTUS) in my Internet Law course.  Tomorrow I give a presentation on the complexities of Wikipedia's potential liability for content that appears on its site.  Interesting stuff.