Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Racist board game brings e-jurisdiction back to the table

CNN online reports that New South Wales state Premier Morris Iemma wants the game "Cronulla Monopoly" (a stupid and racist game "that invites players to "Win back Australia" by buying and selling land in the southern beach suburbs hardest-hit by clashes last December between white Australian youths and ethnic-Lebanese Australians") banned because it glorifies violence, which would contravene Australian law. However, the problems for the racist that made it could extend further than New South Wales, following the principles established in the, coincidentally, Australian case Dow Jones v. Gutnick (courts have jurisdiction over defendants when the effect of their actions impact the forum of the court). In many European countries such a ridiculous game will attract criminal liability for a variety of reasons (discrimination, incitement to racial hatred, racial hatred, and a long list of etceteras) and, although it might be protected speech in the US (remember Nationalist Social Party v Skokie) and American courts cannot decide what is the law in this topic, European courts have shown willingness and propensity to apply their jurisdiction over situations that reach their fora via Internet, as demonstrated by LICRA v Yahoo!

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