Fri, Nov. 26, 2010

No Flying Forum in Berlin

CK - Washington.   A court in Berlin rejects the notion of unlimited forum selection in internet cases. It favors the standard rule. Which is: File you complaint in the court where the defendant resides or, sometimes, where the plaintiff resides or, in torts cases, where the tort was committed or results in harm.

None of that analogy stuff from print publications in libel and such matters, the court said. Those you can sue anywhere the publication circulates.

Berlin court to all: Not in my court. In internet cases, you may not sue anywhere the material is seen. File your action where the offensive stuff got posted or go back to the standard rules for personal jurisdiction.

Beware: The court is the lowest court Berlin has to offer. Its reasoning makes sense, however, and it's based on a convincing application of a supreme court decision of March 2010.

Flying Forum = literal translation of the German term Fliegender Gerichtsstand.

Court, date and case: Amtsgericht Charlottenburg, November 16, 2010, 226 C 130-1.

Like? The decision is likable. The flying forum rules are technically unsustainable in internet cases and legally questionable. I don't see any circulation of posts, for starters. They are somewhere, and as a visitor, I go there to look at them.

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