Although some in this country might believe that the web is American property, the net goes way beyond our borders. So, what happens when the free speech rights of someone with a site based in the US violates the laws of another country?
More specifically, if you have the right to post information on your web site under the First Amendment, can a court decision from another country limit those rights?
In this case, Sarl Louis Feraud International v. Viewfinder Inc., the French companies had won a default judgment in France against Viewfinder Inc., an American company that maintains websites of photographs from fashion shows. The French designers claim that Viewfinder’s posted photographs infringed rights in their dresses. The French companies then tried to enforce the judgment in New York federal court, which rightly found that the French court judgment was “repugnant” to U.S. law and public policy because it would stifle Viewfinder’s speech.
Another interesting challenge to the openness of the web being addressed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.