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Authors

David L. Stott

Abstract

This comment analyzes the limits of personal jurisdiction arising from cyberspace contacts through a discussion of the traditional framework of personal jurisdiction, including a minimum contacts analysis. It examines pertinent decisions wherein the courts apply the personal jurisdiction framework to contacts limited to the Internet, such as CompuServe v. Patterson, Zippo Manufacturing v. Zippo Dot Com, Bensusan v. King, and Hearst v. Goldberger. The comment further analogizes the minimum contacts involved in cyberspace transactions by using the narrow "stream of commerce" analysis adopted by Justice O'Connor in Asahi requiring additional activity within a jurisdiction for personal jurisdiction to exist within a jurisdiction. It applies this analysis to create an active web site/passive web site requirement to show activity in cyberspace, which is additional to the "stream of commerce" test within a jurisdiction. It then discusses cases that have held that broadcasting a Web page over the Internet for the purpose of soliciting business in the subject jurisdiction is sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction upon the person or company publishing the Web page, such as Inset Systems v. Instruction Set and Maritz v. Cybergold. Finally, the comment examines the possible adverse effects on the Internet of the Inset and Maritz decisions in contrast to the projected effect of the application of the additional activity test adopted in Asahi.

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