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French Court Rules That Facebook Can Now Be Sued in France (thestack.com) 145

An anonymous reader writes: A Paris court of appeal has ruled in favor of a French complainant whose account was suspended, because he linked to an image of the 1866 Gustav Courbet nude 'L'Origine du monde', currently residing at the Musee d'Orsay. The appeals court not only agreed that the user's suspension by Facebook constitutes censorship, but the ruling itself negates Facebook's insistence that all legal challenges take place in its native California.
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French Court Rules That Facebook Can Now Be Sued in France

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  • Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) *

    Facebook could have just put a fig leaf over the offending parts...

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @04:45PM (#51497169) Journal

      Much like Italy covered up all those naughty Renaissance and classical nudes for the Iranian delegation, because, you know, genitals are EVIL!!!!!!!!!

      • In this case, the only reason that the picture isn't treated as hardcore pornography is because it was drawn by a famous artist a long time ago. Which, if you think about it, who drew a picture and when they drew it have basically nothing to do with what a picture is.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          the only reason that the picture isn't treated as hardcore pornography is because ...

          A woman's genital area isn't in itself hardcore pornography in France? I mean, really, it's absurd the very picture of a nude person should in itself be consider pornography of any kind, no matter how much of a close up, how much "insertion" is going on, etc. But then that boils down to the point that it's a self-fulfilling prophesy. The more "close ups of a woman's vagina" are pornography, the more people will intend to

        • If you think that is "hardcore", then you really have some eye-opening to do.

          I am almost tempted to link to that famous email service, goatse.cx [goatse.cx]

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

      by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @05:17PM (#51497439)

      Facebook could have just put a fig leaf over the offending parts...

      For the puritanical Americans and for the Middle East.

      For everyone else, they could have just left the image as is [wikipedia.org].

    • Facebook could have just put a fig leaf over the offending parts...

      It is not the censorship that has been ruled on yet. It is the stupid EULA that claimed you had to sue them in California. That is just too stupid and embarresing for any fig leaf to cover.

  • Good for France. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @04:48PM (#51497191) Journal

    At a very basic level, here's the deal. If you're going to operate as a multi-national company, and you're going to offer and promote your services around the globe, then you need to be responsible for and liable to the laws of the land in each of those territories. If you operate in France and you violate the law in France, then you should be subject to penalty in France.

    You don't get to shuffle all of your American tax liability through a double Dutch Sandwich with an Irish muffin, or whatever the hell it is, and simultaneously force French legal complaints to be arbitrated in California. You can't have it both ways.

    • At a very basic level, here's the deal. If you're going to operate as a multi-national company, and you're going to offer and promote your services around the globe, then you need to be responsible for and liable to the laws of the land in each of those territories..

      At the basic level, here's the deal. If you're going to operation internationally, you have to deal with jerks coming at you from both directions. Some countries are going to demand that you MUST censor this, and that, and other countries will demand that you CAN'T censor that, or the other.

      About the best you can do is to defy both of them.

      You can't please everyone.

      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        THen you don't get to oeprate in the country you're ignoring. You don't get to have it both ways. Follow their laws, get them to change their laws, or leave the country. You have no right to operate in every country.

        • You don't have to operate in a country to serve up a web site in their country, in their language and to charge their business for ads.

          Facebook might have made a mistake by incorporating in France. Easy to fix.

          It certainly limits how obnoxious french laws can be before everybody just leaves (but continues doing business with individual frogs).

          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

            I'd say if you're serving a website in that country, you're operating in it. Block the country if you don't, or at least don't complain when they block you. If you're serving in their country, in their language (when its not your home country's especially) you are most definitely operating in it.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      ...except when we don't agree with that country. Then the corporation should do everything they can to flaunt local laws and allow citizens to completely violate whatever objective that government is trying to enforce.

      I would be shocked if the hypocrisy level in this regard is any less than 100%.

    • So what you are saying is that since basically all content on the web is illegal somewhere everyone who hosts a website is a criminal and should go to jail? All porn must be purged, all pro homosexual content erased, and any history that does not mention that the the infinite intelligence and benevolence of Kim Jon Ill should be striked from the record?

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Read the post again. It only applies if you do business in France. If you have no staff there then you can ignore French courts. Facebook has offices in France, pays tax in France, and is subject to French laws that say its EULA doesn't apply.

  • So, what happens if the FB lawyers don't show?
    • Re:Actual result? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @04:52PM (#51497221) Homepage Journal
      Lawyers always show up. Thats how they get paid.
    • They loose by default. I hope they dont have assets to seize in the EU.

  • Women (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @04:50PM (#51497209) Homepage Journal
    Women should not be treated as sex objects. This isn't 1866 anymore! Grow up Gustav. Put some clothes on her and teach her to code!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      She'll never actually learn to code, but she'll get a $100K/year job teaching the code.org tuturial on how to move elsa across the screen.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If Elsa wants to move across the screen, she will move by herself. I hope she freezes your balls off, you misoginist women-hating gamergating homophobic faggot. Go die in a cold fire.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's not a woman, it's a painting.
  • rises against feudalism.
    • The Socialist Republic of France is ruled by committee (Russian word for committee is a "soviet".. now read this sentence from the start).
  • Oh France... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2016 @05:00PM (#51497293)

    Always ahead of USA on giving people freedom.

  • Incorrect Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Translation Error ( 1176675 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @05:09PM (#51497379)

    The appeals court not only agreed that the user's suspension by Facebook constitutes censorship, but the ruling itself negates Facebook's insistence that all legal challenges take place in its native California.

    According to the article, the court didn't say anything about the alleged censorship. It just ruled that the clause in Facebook's terms and conditions that all lawsuits had to take place in California was invalid.

  • Last I saw the painting, two years ago, it was hinging in London's National Gallery.

  • Hold on now... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mujadaddy ( 1238164 )

    1) Fuck Facebook

    2) Fuck Facebook in the eye.

    3) Fuck Facebook in the eye with a broken bottle, but don't they just serve up content to French people? What is their liability here?

    Someone's going to bring up the privacy implications, but can we for one second take some responsibility for ourselves?

    This little Frenchman is upset because Facebook isn't letting him host content on their servers. What is his expected remedy here? If YOU owned a site and BOFH'd it and ruled with an iron fist, would you accept some

  • In case you're wondering:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pini... [pinimg.com]

    The painting is a very realistic depiction of a squirrel sitting in a woman's lap.

  • French court wants to have jurisdiction over what resides on a server physically located in California? Cookie? What if China asked for the same prerogative? This is precisely why the controlling bodies of the Internet must continue to be under US jurisdiction. Imagine someone like North Korea having a say in what can be on the Internet.
    • Great point. So let's shut down Facebook in Europe, South America, Canada...anywhere that doesn't share America's astonishing masturbatory fantasies with religion, racism, ignorance, guns and other evil things. And while we're at it, that whole domain thing...it doesn't really belong in the US.

      Works for me. :-)

    • French court wants to have jurisdiction over what resides on a server physically located in California?

      No,French courts want to have jurisdiction over agreements made between a French company and a French citizen.

    • by Reemi ( 142518 )

      I've seen this argument a few times now, but why would it be relevant where the content is stored or even served from. Shouldn't we look at where the content is consumed?

      Your argument is like snail-mailing cannabis from a country where it is legal to grow and sell to a country where it is a prohibited substance. Should that country allow the goods to enter the country as it was produced and served from abroad?

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