Jurisdiction in the Global Internet Age Essay

1172 Words 5 Pages
Jurisdiction in the Global Internet Age

E-Jurisdiction (or the lack thereof)… At the beginning of a new century, the Internet Revolution is upon us. At the turn of the last century, when the Revolution was Industrial instead of Virtual, the courts and legislatures struggled to enact policies to keep pace with the changing times and technologies. Laws governing labor practices, trade practices, anti-trust regulations, and even intellectual property all developed in reaction to the surges of the new industrialized world. So too, in this new E-world, lawmakers are now attempting to quell the erosion wrought by the powerful Digital wave on our existing legal systems. Whether by adapting old mores to fit new paradigms, or by
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310 (1945). In an age where someone in Singapore can have "minimum contacts" merely by routinely accessing a server in San Francisco, this rule seems overly broad. However, courts have differed whether to find jurisdiction in the virtual context. For example, in CompuServe, Inc. v. Patterson, the court held that a Texas programmer who wrote programs for use by CompuServe and uploaded them to CompuServe's site in Ohio was subject to jurisdiction in Ohio. 89 F.3d 1257, 6th Cir. (Ohio), Jul 22, 1996. In Inset Systems v. Instruction Set, Inc., the court held that a company which advertised on the Internet and whose site was accessed from within Connecticut was subject to jurisdiction in Connecticut. 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7160, 1996 WL 498411. Conversely, in Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, the court found that website advertising viewed by New York residents did not establish jurisdiction over a trademark action in New York. 937 F.Supp. 295, S.D.N.Y., Sep 09, 1996. This uncertainty has caused great unrest in the legal and academic communities, both domestically and internationally. Collateral to the issue of jurisdiction over disputes arising in cyberspace is the problem of conflict of laws. For instance, what if an Italian company infringes a British trademark on a server in Venezuela? Even assuming one can settle the jurisdictional quandary, the problem of which laws to apply becomes extremely relevant when the outcome of the dispute entirely depended on which

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