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Yahoo does not intend to comply with the deadline of a court order requiring the company to block French users from accessing Nazi-related items on its U.S. Web site. The Net giant has only until the end of this week to apply the French court’s ruling made in November last year. Since the ruling was made, Yahoo has taken action to rid its U.S. site of hate-related goods, which may make the ruling moot. Under the original decision, French Judge Jean-Jacques Gomez ruled on Nov. 20 that Yahoo must put a filtering system in place to block French users from accessing Nazi-related goods on its U.S. auction site. After Feb. 24, Yahoo is liable for fines of 100,000 francs ($13,970, at current rates) per day. But according to company spokesman Scott Morris, Yahoo does not plan to comply with the ruling. Yahoo has filed a countersuit in a California court on grounds that a French court should not be able to impose its national laws on a U.S. company. Yahoo contests the ruling on two grounds: First, that it’s technically impossible to block access using filtering systems; and second, that the French court has overstepped its jurisdictional bounds. Yahoo last month removed the Nazi-related items on its own accord and, at the same time, started charging users to post items on the auction site. The company has said the decision to remove the goods has nothing to do with the judge’s order. Morris said: “We removed items we decided are objectionable, but by removing those items we in no way acknowledge the court case. We in no way fulfilled the order that was placed against us.” The French court has not said whether removing the items is enough to fulfill its order that Yahoo must block French users from such content. One of the plaintiffs in the original French case, the League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, or LICRA, said it is content with the action taken by Yahoo to remove the items. LICRA’s main aim was to make sure that Nazi-related items were not available in France, where the sale of such goods is illegal. Marc Knobel, a member of the board of LICRA, said, “It didn’t matter to us how they got rid of the items. I was not for filtering in itself. What counts for us is to get this stuff off the site.” While LICRA may be content with the turn of events at Yahoo, it isn’t about to give up its fight against Nazi content. Knobel has turned his attention to eBay. He said: “I’ve contacted eBay asking them why they have Nazi items.” The U.S. site currently offers about 3,500 such items for sale, he said.

Related articles from The Industry Standard: Yahoo Bans Nazi Goods Yahoo Told to Block Nazi Goods From French Yahoo Gets Reprieve in Nazi-Memorabilia Case Copyright (c)2001 The Industry Standard

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