Internet and personal jurisdiction. When is a web page creator subject to a State's jurisdiction?

Essay by lolliegagindeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2004

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Launched in 1996, comprises the largest and most current Clinical Knowledge Base available to physicians and health professionals. Nearly 10,000 physician authors and editors contribute to the eMedicine Clinical Knowledge Base, which contains articles on 7,000 diseases and disorders. eMedicine also provides other services, such as downloadable PDA textbooks, personal subscriptions, CME/CE/CEH credits, and employment. As mentioned by Christopher Wolf, in the article entitled "Internet Jurisdiction" some can fall in the middle being neither interactive nor passive. "Many cases have fallen in the middle, being neither strictly interactive nor passive. These cases include situations where a defendant operates an informational Web Site, but also allows a user to exchange information with the host computer by providing an e-mail address, a toll-free telephone number or other forms of activity that would enable an ongoing relationship with the user to emerge or the opportunity to solicit business in the future." (Para. 1) With this site, not only is it informative but it also allows information to be exchanged between the user and host, which would make it neither strictly interactive nor passive.

1. Why is personal jurisdiction an issue for those who post Websites?

Although the case law is not resolved at the highest level, a careful review will determine the likelihood of a company's Internet commerce subjecting it to liability. Companies should conduct business over the Internet knowing that they could subject themselves to significantly more jurisdiction than merely operating a business in one state. While this can give rise to greater liability, the benefits of doing business over the Internet and the potentially limitless customers that can be reached will often outweigh the potential losses. If a company is clearly doing business over the Internet, entering into contracts with residents of a given state, that...