Select Page

Cyberspace Law
Temple University School of Law
Yeh, Edward

Cyberspace Outline:
Internet Basics:
Study of Cyberspace Law:
Cyberanarchy v. Cyberorder:
Personal Jurisdiction:
            Supreme Court and Due Process :
            Purposeful Availment and the Internet:
                        Inset Systems v. Instruction Set:
                        Zippo Manufacturing v. Zippo Dot Com
                        ALS Scan v. Digital Service Consultants
            Tortious Conduct:
                        Bochan v. La Fontaine
                        Oasis Corp v. Judd
(a)    Π, Oasis, is a Ohio Corp mfr of water coolers. Δ is a computer software Co in OK. After a fire, Δ opened a page about Π and their insurer. 
(b)   Holding: No personal Jurisdiction over Δ. 
1.      Alleged wrongs based solely on content of Δ’s website;
2.      the site is non-commercial in nature;
3.      Δ has no connection to Ohio – and even if Long Arm stat applied, it would violate 14th amendment –just becauseΔ’s website is accessible from Ohio does not give jurisdiction and would eviscerate Intl shoe (min contacts) and fair warning. 
            Presence: “Internet activities located within the jurisdiction.”
                        Amberson Holdings LLC v. Westside Story Newspaper:
(a)    Π brings action against Δ form violation of copyright and trademark laws in New Jersey for use of “West Side Story”
(b)   Π argues for specific Jx because Δ has:
1.      “maintained a contractual relationship with a New Jersey company that provides “hosting services” for Δs’ Web site on its Internet serves in New Jersey.”
(c)    Court address contract argument:
1.      “the act of entering into a contract, without more, cannot serve as a basis for establishing personal Jx over an out of state Δ.”
(d)   Π argues that Δs’ use of a NJ server provides for a finding of minimum contacts.
(e)    Court rules that, “inter-computer transfers of information are…de minimus.”
1.      Even if Δs have “purposefully availed” themselves to this District, traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice would, nevertheless be offended by having Δs submit to personal Jx…”
                        United States v. Thomas:
(a)    Δ indicted in the Western District of Tennessee for violation of federal obscenity laws.
(b)   Δ challenge venue because “they did not cause the GIF files to be transmitted to that District.
(c)    Δ operates a computer bulletin board system, and Π, located in the Western District of TN, downloaded GIF files instantaneously, ordered videotapes, and had e-mail and chat mode conversations with Δ.
(d)   Π must only prove that Δ knowingly used a facility or means of interstate commerce for the purpose of distributing obscene materials (and does not require specific knowledge).
(e)    “Venue lies in any district in which the offense was committed…and in any district in which the material touches.”
(f)     GIF files were se up so that they could

s. There, in rem jurisdiction was invoked – the court basically locked up (sequestered) stocks of a company to compel the officers of the company to appear in the jurisdiction. The matter (stock holder derivative suit) was unrelated to the stocks (res) upon which jurisdiction was based. 
i.         A minority of cts have held that Shaffer requires that all in rem actions must establish the same “minimum contact” required of in personam jurisdiction case. The majority of cts, however, believe that rule only extends to Quasi in rem cases (#3 above.). Because this case is a “True” in rem case, no minimum contacts are necessary.
(f)     Δ argues Π must plead and prove bad faith to withstand jurisdictional challenge.
1.      Court rejects this argument because it confuses a jurisdictional requirement with a substantive element. Bad faith is not a jurisdictional requirement.
2.      The stringent standard of dismissal for lack of subject matter Jx is if the claim is “so insubstantial, implausible, foreclosed by prior decision of this Court, or otherwise completely devoid of merit as not to involve a federal controversy.”
i.         That standard is not met here, and it is a legitimate trademark infringement claim.