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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 36 - EFF Applauds Court Decision Protecting U.S. Website Against Foreign Court's Anti-Speech Order


EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 36 - EFF Applauds Court Decision Protecting U.S. Website Against Foreign Court's Anti-Speech Order

EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 36       Nov. 14, 2001 
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424 
In the 196th Issue of EFFector (now with over 29,700 subscribers!):

  * EFF Applauds Court Decision Protecting U.S. Website Against Foreign
    Court's Anti-Speech Order
  * Exchange Ideas with Larry Lessig at EFF Benefit Dinner
  * The Eleventh Annual International EFF Pioneer Awards - Call for
  * EFF thanks PFU America, Inc. for Their Generous Donation
  * Administrivia

For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

To join EFF or make an additional donation:
EFF is a member-supported nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!



San Jose, California - U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled
last week that a French court decision holding Yahoo liable for First
Amendment protected expression on its U.S. website could not be
enforced in U.S. courts

This is an important decision for international free speech rights on
the Internet, as it could help prevent a "race to the bottom" that
would allow the most restrictive countries of the world to chill the
First Amendment rights of Americans on American websites.

EFF joined the ACLU and several other groups in an amicus brief arguing
that Yahoo!'s U.S.-based website was protected by the First Amendment
and warning that enforcement of the French decision here risked
subjecting all U.S. speakers to the more speech-restrictive laws of
other countries.

The case arose after a French non-profit group dedicated to eliminating
anti-Semitism successfully obtained a court order against the
availability of Nazi materials via Yahoo!'s websites. This prohibition
included not only the auctioning of Nazi and related memorabilia but
also "access via" to any site or service that "may be
construed as constituting an apology for Nazism or a contesting of Nazi
crimes." For instance, Judge Fogel found that the search engine at produced 3,070 hits for "Jewish conspiracy" and 821 hits for
"Holocaust did not happen.'" The French order required to
prevent French persons' access to such sites.

Yahoo! brought this case in the United States arguing that the French
order was not enforceable for its U.S.-based site. Yahoo! operates two
types of websites: sites like are based in the United States
and use the English language. Regional sites like are based
outside the United States, are operated by subsidiary corporations, and
target the local population using the region's primary language. Yahoo!
France operated under local law and complied with the French court order
on the site.

EFF expects that the decision will be appealed to the Ninth Circuit and
intends to continue participating as the case progresses. The case is
Yahoo!, Inc. v. La Ligue Contre le Racisme et
l'Antismitisme, ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2001 WL 1381157 (N.D.Cal. Nov. 7,
2001). The text of Judge Fogel's decision is available at

                                - end -                                



You are invited to join Stanford University Law Professor and
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Board Member Larry Lessig for an
intimate conversation regarding his new book over dinner and drinks.
This exchange of ideas will take place on Monday, November 26th, at 8:
30 p.m. and will benefit EFF's work to protect rights in the digital

On November 26th at 6:00p.m., Larry will speak on his new book, "The
Future of Ideas," at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. In the
book, Lessig warns of the dangers of corporate power strangling public
interest online. He argues that these powerful forces could usher in a
new "Dark Age" in which ideas are more strictly monitored and filtered
than at any time in our history.

After the event, Larry will engage a dozen interested people at the
upscale new Japanese restaurant Ozumo for a meal in the Sunken Kotatsu

Seated on cushions around a low wooden table, you will have the chance
to discuss Larry's book and ideas with him in an intimate personal
setting while enjoying excellent food. You will also be contributing to
an important cause, as the money raised from this unusual evening will
go to furthering the work of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The evening includes the opportunity to talk with Larry about his
thoughts for the future and how we can affect it, your dinner and
drinks, a signed copy of "The Future of Ideas," and a ticket to the
speech at the Commonwealth Club.

The cost is $500. As there are only 12 available seats, space will fill
up quickly.

Please contact Katina Bishop for more information and to RSVP at:
+1 415-436-9333 x101 or

                                - end -                                



In every field of human endeavor, there are those dedicated to
expanding knowledge, freedom, efficiency, and utility. Many of today's
brightest innovators are working along the electronic frontier. To
recognize these leaders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation established
the Pioneer Awards for deserving individuals and organizations. The
Pioneer Awards are international and nominations are open to all. The
deadline for nominations this year is Feb. 15, 2002 (see nomination
criteria and instructions below).

How to Nominate Someone

You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use one e-mail
per nomination. You may submit your entries to us via e-mail to: 

Just tell us:

 1. The name of the nominee;
 2. The phone number or e-mail address at which the nominee can be
    reached; and, most importantly;
 3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award.

You may attach supporting documentation as RTF files, Microsoft Word
documents, or other common binary formats, or as plain text.
Individuals, or representatives of organizations, receiving an EFF
Pioneer Award will be invited to attend the ceremony at the
Foundation's expense.

Nominee Criteria

There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards, but the
following guidelines apply:

 1. The nominees must have made a substantial contribution to the
    health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based
 2. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or cultural.
 3. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or organizations in the
    private or public sectors.
 4. Nominations are open to all (other than EFF staff & board and this
    year's award judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient.
    You may nominate yourself or your organization.
 5. All nominations, to be valid, must contain your reasons, however
    brief, for nominating the individual or organization, along with a
    means of contacting the nominee (or heirs, if posthumous), and your
    own contact number. Anonymous nominations will be allowed, but we
    prefer to be able to contact the nominating parties in the event
    that we need further information.

The 2002 Awards

The 11th annual EFF Pioneer Awards will be presented in San Francisco,
California, in conjunction with the 12th Conference on Computers,
Freedom, and Privacy (CFP2002). All nominations will be reviewed by a
panel of judges chosen for their knowledge of the technical, legal, and
social issues associated with information technology.

For more information please see:

Pioneer Awards web page:

CFP site:

                                - end -                                



EFF thanks PFU America, Inc. (PAI) for their donation of a Happy
Hacking Keyboard.

PAI distributes these minimalist keyboards, popular among programmers
and system administrators. The keyboard helps saves our desktop space
with its tiny form factor. PAI site for more information:

A black Happy Hacking Lite II, donated to EFF by a PAI representative
at the Annual Linux Showcase conference, now adorns EFF's server room.

[Note: EFF does not do commercial product or service endorsements, and
cannot recommend one brand over another, though we gratefully thank
in-kind donors for equipment that we can use.]

                                - end -                                



EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster

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