The Internet is the Place to Be, But Where is Legal Jurisdiction: A United States Perspective.

Jurisdiction is the authority of a court to hear and decide a specific legal action. In resolving legal actions related to e-commerce which cross borders, there currently is no statutory solution to determine jurisdiction. Further, there is no uniform judicial rule within the United States. Thus, the answer to the question, where is internet jurisdiction, is determined on case by case through court action. E-commerce companies have expressed increasing concern about internet jurisdiction risk and are beginning to proactively respond to this risk by adapting their approach to e-commerce (Rice, 2004). This paper examines the questions of legal internet jurisdiction. The standards within the United States, as well as those applied in international disputes, are discussed and exemplified with legal cases. Finally, we recommend approaches for e-commerce companies to address internet jurisdiction risk, including a corporate strategy which incorporates an explicit internationalization policy, addresses both virtual and physical environments, and explicitly considers jurisdiction risk; a website policy; the use of technological mechanisms; compliance with international agreements, standards, and recommendations; and securing adequate liability insurance to reduce the financial exposure of internet liability.

Main Author: Ward, Burke T.
Other Authors: Sipior, Janice C.
Language: English
Published: 2008
Online Access: http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?url=https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:178701
Summary: Jurisdiction is the authority of a court to hear and decide a specific legal action. In resolving legal actions related to e-commerce which cross borders, there currently is no statutory solution to determine jurisdiction. Further, there is no uniform judicial rule within the United States. Thus, the answer to the question, where is internet jurisdiction, is determined on case by case through court action. E-commerce companies have expressed increasing concern about internet jurisdiction risk and are beginning to proactively respond to this risk by adapting their approach to e-commerce (Rice, 2004). This paper examines the questions of legal internet jurisdiction. The standards within the United States, as well as those applied in international disputes, are discussed and exemplified with legal cases. Finally, we recommend approaches for e-commerce companies to address internet jurisdiction risk, including a corporate strategy which incorporates an explicit internationalization policy, addresses both virtual and physical environments, and explicitly considers jurisdiction risk; a website policy; the use of technological mechanisms; compliance with international agreements, standards, and recommendations; and securing adequate liability insurance to reduce the financial exposure of internet liability.