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INTERNET CASES IN EU PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW—DEVELOPING A COHERENT APPROACH

  • Tobias Lutzi (a1)
Abstract

Internet communication has long been known to pose a challenge to private international law and its reliance on geographical connecting factors. This article looks at the problem from the perspective of EU private international law and argues that the way in which it has been accommodated by Regulations Brussels I, Rome I, and II conflicts with some of its central paradigms. It advances an alternative approach that would generally submit claims against information society service providers established in the EU to the jurisdiction and substantive laws of their ‘country of origin’ but make certain exceptions for private persons and consumers. The article argues that implementing such an approach would require little legislative change, be more faithful to the particularities of internet communication, and give greater effect to the central paradigms of EU private international law.

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1 Lord Bingham, with regard to online defamation, in Collins, The Law of Defamation and the Internet (1st edn, OUP 2001), foreword (also quoted by Kirby J in Dow Jones v Gutnick [2002] HCA 56, [66]).

2 Mills, A, ‘Rethinking Jurisdiction in International Law’ (2004) 84 BYBIL 187, 197.

3 Davis, P, ‘The Defamation of Choice-of-Law in Cyberspace’ (2002) 54 FedCommLJ 339, 341, 342. See Bigos, O, ‘Jurisdiction over Cross-Border Wrongs on the Internet’ (2005) 54 ICLQ 585, 588–90, 602–3; Kohl, U, Jurisdiction and the Internet (CUP 2007) 1113 ; Schulz, T, ‘Carving up the Internet: Jurisdiction, Legal Orders, and the Private/Public International Law Interface’ (2008) 19(4) EJIL 799, 802–3; Gössl, S, Internetspezifisches Kollisionsrecht? (Nomos 2014) 266. See also Lucasfilm v Ainsworth [2009] EWCA Civ 1328 [193]–[94]. Contra Collins, M, The Law of Defamation and the Internet (3rd edn, OUP 2010) [3.01]; Hörnle, J, ‘The Jurisdictional Challenge of the Internet’ in Edwards, L and Waelde, C (eds), Law and the Internet (3rd edn, Hart 2009) 121, 141, 157; Svantesson, D, Private International Law and the Internet (2nd edn, Kluwer 2013) 5262 ; Wang, F, Internet Jurisdiction and Choice of Law (CUP 2010) 6.

4 This is conceded, eg, by Schulz (n 3) 3–6 and Gössl (n 3) 29.

5 ie its ability to have effects in many places at once. See Bogdan, M, ‘Website Accessibility as Basis for Jurisdiction under the Brussels I Regulation’ (2011) 5 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology, 1, 3, 67 ; Jiménez, W and Lodder, A, ‘Analyzing Approaches to Internet Jurisdiction Based on a Model of Harbors and the High Seas’ (2015) 29 IRLCT 266, 268.

6 ie its independence from physical elements and geographical places. See Márton, E, Violations of Personality Rights through the Internet (Nomos 2016) 56; Svantesson (n 3) 37; Wang (n 3) 27–9, 266–7.

7 Bigos (n 3) 590.

8 For an overview see Collins, Lord et al. (eds), Dicey, Morris and Collins on The Conflict of Laws (15th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2012) [1–020]–[1–022].

9 See also section III.E.

10 Reg (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

11 Reg (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations.

12 Reg (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations.

13 Another example is the new General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 2016/679), which defines its own territorial scope of application (in art 3) and contains a special rule for jurisdiction (in art 79(2)).

14 Dir 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market.

15 See Höning, N, ‘The European Directive on e-Commerce and its Consequences on the Conflict of Laws’ (2005) 5 Global Jurist Topics , art 2, 2–3; Savin, A, EU Internet Law (Edward Elgar 2013) 29.

16 See Mankowski, P, ‘Herkunftslandprinzip und deutsches Umsetzungsgesetz zur e-commerce Richtlinie’ (2002) 22(4) IPRax 258. See also OGH 9 May 2012, MR 2012, 207, [1.2] (Austrian Supreme Court) (interpreting the Austrian transposition as a conflict-of-laws rule) and OGH 19 Mar 2013, GRUR Int 2013, 1163, 1166 (arguing that this interpretation cannot be upheld in light of eDate).

17 Joined Cases C-509/09 and C-161/10 eDate Advertising and Martinez [2011] ECR I-10302, [59]–[68]. See also section III.D.3.

18 See sections II.A.1 and II.B.

19 For lack of a better option, this term, as defined in art 2(a) e-Commerce Directive, will be used throughout this article to designate uses of the internet to provide services, goods, or information.

20 Art 7(5) effectively extends art 4(1) in cases arising out of the operation of a ‘branch, agency or other establishment’ to the country in which the latter is situated.

21 See Case 21/76 Bier [1976] ECR 1735, [19].

22 In internet cases, the ECJ has repeatedly considered the place of the causal event to be identical with the place of domicile (or establishment) of an information society service provider (see Cases C-441/13 Hejduk ECLI:EU:C:2015:28, [23]–[26]; C-360/12 Coty Germany ECLI:EU:C:2014:1318, [49]–[52]; C-523/10 Wintersteiger ECLI:EU:C:2012:220, [34]–[38]; eDate (n 17) [42]–[43]).

23 As opposed to cases concerning contracts that have been concluded online but still involve physical performance (as to which see, eg, Case C-322/14 El Majdoub ECLI:EU:C:2015:334; Joined Cases C-585/08 and C-144/09 Pammer and Hotel Alpenhof [2010] ECR I-12570).

24 Case C-68/93 Shevill [1995] ECR I-415, [29]–[30].

25 See Hejduk (n 22) [34]; Case C-170/12 Pinckney ECLI:EU:C:2013:635, [44].

26 eDate (n 17) [42]–[44], [51].

27 Wintersteiger (n 22) [28]. See also OGH 10 July 2012, GRUR Int 2013, 59, 61.

28 By virtue of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.

29 Hejduk (n 22) [27]–[37]; Pinckney (n 25) [43]–[46]. See also Case C-387/12 Hi Hotel ECLI:EU:C:2014:215, [35]–[39], for a case of offline infringement.

30 Case C-618/15 Concurrence SARL ECLI:EU:C:2016:976, [31]–[34]; Coty Germany (n 22) [55]–[57].

31 As opposed to uniform IP rights, which are governed by specific EU instruments such as Regulation (EC) 207/2009 on the Community trade mark.

32 Stone, P, ‘Territorial Targeting in EU Private Law’ (2013) 22 Info&CommTechL 14, 22–3.

33 See section II.A.2.

34 See Lein, E in Dickinson, A and Lein, E (eds), The Brussels I Regulation Recast (OUP 2015) [4.112]; Hess, BThe Protection of Privacy in the Case Law of the CJEU’ in Hess, B and Mariottini, C (eds), Protecting Privacy in Private International and Procedural Law by Data Protection (Nomos 2015) 8990 ; Oster, JRethinking Shevill. Conceptualising the EU Private International Law of Internet Torts against Personality Rights’ (2012) 26 IntRevLCompTech, 113, 116–17.

35 See above, at (n 22).

36 Martón (n 6) 181–2; Šrámek, M, ‘Brussels I: Recent Developments in the Interpretation of Special Jurisdiction Provisions for Internet Torts’ (2015) 9 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology 165, 171; Kreuzer, K and Klötgen, PDie Shevill-Entscheidung des EuGHIPRax (1997) 90, 96.

37 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Case C-441/13 Hejduk ECLI:EU:C:2014:2212, [43]; Lein (n 34) [4.112]; Oster (n 34) 116; Stone (n 32) 17; S Bollée and B Haftel, ‘Les nouveaux (dés)équilibres de la compétence internationale en matière de cyberdélits après l'arrêt eDate Advertising et Martinez’ Dalloz (2012) 1285, 1292.

38 See Bin Mahfouz v Ehrenfeld [2005] EWHC 1156 (QB), where the defendant was ordered to pay £115,000 over 23 copies of her allegedly defamatory book that were sold in England and the first chapter that was made available online. See also Hartley, T, ‘‘‘Libel Tourism’’ and Conflict of Laws’ (2010) 59 ICLQ 25, 31–2; Reymond, M, ‘The ECJ eDate Decision: A Case Comment’ (2011) 13 YrbkPrivIntlL 493, 503.

39 Bogdan (n 5) 5; Hartley (n 38) 31–2; Hess (n 34) 90, 106; Schulz (n 3) 814–16.

40 See, in more detail, section III.A.

41 It has been argued by Bigos (n 3) 617–18, and Bogdan (n 5) 5, that this question can be solved by the courts exercising the discretion they enjoy under the applicable procedural law; yet, not only does this presuppose that all national laws provide for such a discretion (which they do not), it also does not answer the question whether courts should have the competence to issue an injunction in these cases. The recent decision by the UK Supreme Court to uphold an injunction against publication of certain information in England although it had already been widely disseminated over the internet (PJS v News Group Newspapers [2016] UKSC 26, [2016] AC 1081) illustrates the pertinence of this question.

42 King v Lewis [2004] EWCA Civ 1329, [2005] ILPr 16, [2]; but see Jameel (Yousef) v Dow Jones [2005] EWCA Civ 75, [2005] QB 946, [72]–[74].

43 See, eg, OLG Düsseldorf 22 June 2011, IPRspr 2011, Nr 237, 611 (Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf; following BGH 2 March 2010, New York Times, BGHZ 184, 313 (German Federal Court of Justice)).

44 eDate (n 17) [24].

45 For which see section II.A.2.

46 Case C-194/16 Bolagsupplysningen OJ C 211 (13 June 2016) 35, question 1.

47 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [20], [39]–[40]; Hess (n 34) 90, 98, 106; Lein (n 34) [4.112]; Martón (n 6) 177–78; Šrámek (n 36) 171; Stone (n 32) 17.

48 See, to this effect, AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Joined Cases C-509/09 and C-161/10 eDate Advertising and Martinez [2011] ECR I-10302, [48].

49 See Cases C-45/13 Kainz ECLI:EU:C:2014:7, [31]; C-133/11 Folien Fischer ECLI:EU:C:2012:664, [46].

50 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [43]; AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Case C-170/12 Pinckney ECLI:EU:C:2013:400, [68]; A Thünken, ‘Multi-State Advertising over the Internet and the Private International Law of Unfair Competition’ (2002) 51 ICLQ 909, 933; T Pfeiffer in B Hess, T Pfeiffer and P Schlosser (eds), The Brussels I Regulation (Beck 2008) [203]. Schulz (n 3) 813–14, argues that this is not a major problem since defendants only need to worry about jurisdictions where decisions can be enforced; still, for EU-based defendants, this is at least every single Member State of the EU.

51 Schulz (n 3) 815; P Picht, ‘Von eDate zu Wintersteiger’ GRUR Int (2013) 19, 23.

52 See generally A Dickinson, ‘Legal Certainty and the Brussels Convention – Too Much of a Good Thing?’ in P de Vareilles-Sommières (ed), Forum Shopping in the European Judicial Area (Hart 2007) 115.

53 Case C-256/00 Besix [2002] ECR I-1718, [26]. See also Cases C-440/97 Groupe Concorde [1999] ECR I-6307, [24]; C-26/91 Handte [1992] ECR I-3967, [18].

54 Coty Germany (n 22) [44]; Besix (n 53) [53].

55 See Cases C-412/98 Group Josi [2000] ECR I-5925, [34]–[35]; Handte (n 53) [14]; H van Lith in Dickinson and Lein (n 34) [3.04]; M Lehmann ibid [4.07].

56 Oster (n 34) 117. See also Besix (n 53) [54]. Based on the mosaic approach, the claimants were allowed to sue in their home courts in Wintersteiger (n 22), Pinckney (n 25), Hejduk (n 22), Coty (n 22), and Concurrence SARL (n 31).

57 See generally E Lein, ‘The New Rome I/Rome II/Brussels I Synergy’ (2008) 10 YrbkPrivIntlL 177.

58 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [44]; AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [69]; Picht (n 51) 23.

59 Case C-364/93 Marinari [1995] ECR I-2719, [20]. See also Cases C-12/15 Universal Music ECLI:EU:C:2016:449, [27]; 56/79 Zelger (No 1) [1980] ECR 89, [3].

60 See above, at n 41.

61 AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [68]; Hess (n 34) 106; Hörnle (n 3) 137–8; Maier, B, ‘How Has the Law Attempted to Tackle the Borderless Nature of the Internet?’ (2010) 18 IntJLInfoTech 142, 50; Martón (n 6) 185–7; Oster (n 34) 117. See also, by analogy, Besix (n 53) [34].

62 See, in particular, Berezovsky v Forbes [2000] 1 WLR 1004 (UKHL) and King v Lewis (n 42). This availability seems to have ended with section 9 of the 2013 Defamation Act.

63 See Hartley (n 38) 26–7, 30; C Mariottini, ‘Freedom of Speech and Foreign Defamation Judgments’ in Hess and Mariottini (n 34) 115, 138–46; A Mills, ‘The Law Applicable to Cross-Border Defamation on Social Media: Whose Law Governs Free Speech in “Facebookistan”?’ [2015] JMediaL 1, 3–6; Reymond (n 38) 494; Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1292.

64 Hörnle (n 3) 139–40; Mills (n 63) 6.

65 See Case C-281/02 Owusu [2005] ECR I-1383. The English courts, on the other hand, could set aside proceedings where the claim based on accessibility of content in England amounted to an abuse of process (see Jameel v Dow Jones (n 43) [50]–[77]; Lonzim v Sprague [2009] EWHC 2838 (QB); Kaschke v Osler [2010] EWHC 1075 (QB); Subotic v Knezevic [2013] EWHC 3011 (QB); Karpov v Browder [2013] EWHC 3071 (QB); but see also Mardas v New York Times [2008] EWHC 3135 (QB), where a plea for forum non conveniens remained unsuccessful as 177 printed copies published in England were considered as ‘real and substantial’ and it was said that ‘a few dozen [people who have accessed an online article] is enough to found a cause of action here’ (ibid [25], [31]).

66 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on eDate (n 48) [51]; Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [42]; AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [68]. See also Martón (n 6) 98–100.

67 C-220/88 Dumez France [1990] ECR I-49, [17]–[18]. See also Besix (n 53) [27]; Case 266/85 Shenavai [1987] ECR 239, [8].

68 Martón (n 6) 175, 190–5; Picht (n 51) 23.

69 Contra Bigos (n 3) 611.

70 Bigos (n 3) 610.

71 See recital (21) Brussels Ia.

72 eDate (n 17) [47]; see also AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on eDate (n 48) [48].

73 See, eg, Mills (n 63) 20–1; Hess (n 34) 93–4; 94–5, 106; Reymond (n 38) 498–503; S Schmitz, ‘From Where Are They Casting Stones? – Determining Jurisdiction in Online Defamation Claims’ (2012) 6 Masaryk UJLTech 159, 173–5; Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1286–90. More positive: Lein (n 34) [4.120]; Oster (n 34) 120–2.

74 The wording of eDate (n 17) [51], seems to indicate that it is a separate ground for jurisdiction.

75 Martón (n 6) 176; Reymond (n 38) 499–501; Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1287–8.

76 Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1287: ‘un excès de pouvoir de la part de la CJUE’.

77 ibid. See also BGH 2 March 2010, New York Times (n 43) [17].

78 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [26]; AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [69]; Martón (n 6) 263; Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1286; Picht (n 51) 22.

79 Case C-464/01 Gruber [2005] ECR I-472, [33]. See also Cases C-168/02 Kronhofer [2004] ECR I-6009, [20]; C-269/95 Benincasa [1997] ECR I-3767, [14]; C-89/91 Shearson Lehman Hutton [1993] ECR I-139, [17]; C-220/88 Dumez France [1990] ECR I-49, [19].

80 Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1288–9; Picht (n 51) 22.

81 Bogdan (n 5) 200; Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1289.

82 Mills (n 63) 21; Bollée and Haftel (n 37) 1291.

83 See Thelwall, M, ‘Society on the Web’ in Dutton, W (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies (OUP 2013) 6970 .

84 Martón (n 6) 295–8; Svantesson (n 3) 50–1; Svantesson, D, ‘The Holy Trinity of Legal Fictions Undermining the Application of Law to the Global Internet’ (2015) 23 IntJLInfoTech 219, 220.

85 eDate (n 17) [50].

86 Hess (n 34) 93–4; Mills (n 63) 21; Bollée/Haftel (n 38) 1289.

87 Bolagsupplysningen (n 46) questions 2 and 3.

88 Foss/Bygrave, International Consumer Purchases through the Internet: Jurisdictional Issues pursuant to European Law’ (2000) 8(2) IntJLInfoTech 99, 108; Wang (n 3) 52–3: ‘digitized products’. See also Hörnle (n 3) 126; Svantesson (n 3) 331–2; and above, at n 23.

89 As to which, see Haibach, G, ‘Cloud Computing and European Union Private International Law’ (2015) 11(2) JPrivIntL 252, who (correctly) qualifies (most) cloud services as service contracts (at 260).

90 As to which, see Lutzi, T, ‘Aktuelle Rechtsfragen zum Handel mit virtuellen Gegenständen in ComputerspielenNJW (2012) 2070.

91 Savin (n 15) 60; Haibach (n 89) 256, 259, 266; Wang (n 3) 19. For the problems these clauses raise, see, eg, El Majdoub (n 23); BGH 30 Mar 2006, BGHZ 167, 83; 24 Apr 2013, RIW 2013, 563. See also A Dickinson and J Ungerer, ‘‘‘Click Wrapping’’ Choice of Court Agreements in the Brussels I Regime’ [2016] LMCLQ 15.

92 While Case C-533/07 Falco Privatstiftung [2009] ECR I-03327 involved a non-physical object (IP rights), the court did not qualify it as a service contract; consequently, it only needed to discuss the place of performance of the ‘obligation in question’ under art 7(1)(a) Brussels Ia, ie the obligation of payment (see ibid [47]).

93 Cases C-386/05 Color Drack [2007] ECR I-03699, [40]; C-19/09 Wood Floor [2010] ECR I-2121, [40].

94 Case C-381/08 Car Trim [2010] ECR I-01255, [52]–[53], overruling Case 12/76, Tessili [1976] ECR 1473.

95 Car Trim (n 94) [60].

96 See ibid [48]–[49], [61].

97 Wang (n 3) 54, 56.

98 Color Drack (n 93) [22]; Wood Floor (n 93) [22].

99 Wang (n 3) 56–7.

100 G-A Droz and H Gaudemet-Tallon, ‘La transformation de la Convention de Bruxelles du 27 septembre 1968 en Reglèment’ (2001) Rev crit DIP 601, 636; P Gottwald, in W Krüger and T Rauscher (eds), Münchener Kommentar zur ZPO (4th edn, Beck 2013) [27].

101 Wang (n 3) 56–7.

102 Haibach (n 89) 261.

103 Wood Floor (n 93) [42].

104 See A Dickinson, The Rome II Regulation (OUP 2008) [8.25]–[8.26].

105 Case C-191/15 Verein für Konsumenteninformation (VKI) ECLI:EU:C:2016:612, [43].

106 Which still apply as a result of the exclusion in art 1(2)(g) Rome II.

107 See, eg, Berezovsky v Forbes [2000] 1 WLR 1004 (UKHL) 1012–1013, for the English common law; OLG Hamburg 8 Dec 1994, NJW-RR 1995, 790, 792, for German law. See also MainStrat, ‘Comparative study on the situation in the 27 Member States as regards the law applicable to non-contractual obligations arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating to personality’ JLS/2007/C4/028, Final Report, 77–112, for a general overview.

108 Pfeiffer (n 51) [203]; Svantesson (n 84) 228–9; D Svantesson, ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place – An International Law Perspective of the Difficult Position of Globally Active Internet Intermediaries’ (2014) 30 CompLSecRev 348, 349; N Dethloff, ‘Marketing im Internet und Internationales Wettbewerbsrecht’ NJW (1998) 1596, 1601–2. See also AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [68]. Note that neither art 6 nor art 8 Rome II contain an escape clause.

109 Reed, Making Laws for Cyberspace (OUP 2012) 15; Schulz (n 3) 813–14; Svantesson (n 84) 228–30; Svantesson (n 108) 349–50, 353.

110 See eDate (n 17) [64]–[68].

111 See, eg, eDate (n 17) [45]; Gutnick (n 1) [19], [39], [181]; King v Lewis (n 43) [29], [33]–[34]; Bigos (n 3) 612; Höning (n 15) 30; Schulz (n 3) 820.

112 Dicey, Morris and Collins (n 8) [31–119]; Oster (n 34) 116; Svantesson (n 108) 350.

113 Hörnle (n 3) 134; Martón (n 6) 64–5; Oster (n 34) 116.

114 Martón (n 6) 65, 67–68; Reymond (n 38) 498; M Reymond, ‘Jurisdiction in Case of Personality Torts Committed over the Internet’ (2012/13) 14 YrbkPrivIntlL 205, 210–11.

115 See Pammer (n 23) [68].

116 Bigos (n 3) 603; Schulz (n 3) 820.

117 See, eg, M Sweney, ‘Sun Website to Scrap Paywall’ (30 Oct 2015) <https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/oct/30/sun-website-to-scrap-paywall>.

118 For arguments in favour of geo-blocking, see G Mazziotti, ‘Is Geo-Blocking a Real Cause for Concern in Europe?’ [2016] EIPR 365, 368–71, 372–75; Schulz (n 3) 819; Svantesson (n 3) 435–40; D Svantesson, ‘Pammer and Hotel Alpenhof – ECJ decision creates further uncertainty about when e-businesses “direct activities” to a consumer's state under the Brussels I Regulation’ (2011) 27 CompLSecRep 298, 303; Svantesson, D, ‘Time for the Law to Take Internet Geo-location Technologies Seriously’ (2012) 8(3) JPrivInyL 473.

119 Martón (n 6) 60–62; Mazziotti (n 118) 366; Bogdan (n 5) 5; Schulz (n 3) 820–1. But see Svantesson (n 3) 400–18.

120 See, in particular, the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market and amending Reg (EC) No 2006/2004 and Dir 2009/22/EC, COM(2016) 289 final. See also EU Digital Single Market Strategy, COM(2015) 192 final, 6; Art 20(2) Directive 2006/123/EC. Both the Commission and the ECJ also try to fight geo-blocking by means of competition law (see EU Commission (Press Release), ‘Antitrust: Commission investigates restrictions affecting cross border provision of pay TV services’ (13 Jan 2014) <http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-15_en.htm>; Joined Cases C-403/08 and C-429/08 Premier League and Karen Murphy [2011] ECR I-9083.

121 See section II.B.

122 See Šrámek (n 37) 166; Martón (n 6) 67–8; Wang (n 3) 19; Lutzi, T, ‘“Cross-border Defamation” auf WikipediaRIW (2014) 810, 813.

123 See Šrámek (n 37) 166; Wang (n 3) 19.

124 See EU Digital Single Market Strategy (n 120) 4–5.

125 Mills, A, ‘Variable Geometry, Peer Governance, and the Public International Perspective on Private International Law’ in Watt, H Muir and Arroyo, D Fernández (eds), Private International Law and Global Governance (OUP 2014) 250–1; Watt, H Muir, ‘The Role of the Conflict of Laws in European Private Law’ in Twigg-Flesner, C (ed), The Cambridge Companion to European Union Private Law (CUP 2010) 44, 46–8.

126 See AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [41]–[45].

127 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [41];C Beall, ‘The Scientological Defenestration of Choice-of-Law Doctrines for Publication Torts on the Internet’ (1997) 15 John MarshallJComputer&InfoL 361, 363. See also Case C-292/10 de Visser ECLI:EU:C:2012:142, [37]–[42].

128 See, eg, Gutnick (n 1) [20].

129 Wintersteiger (n 22) [36].

130 See Case C-173/11 Football Dataco ECLI:EU:C:2012:115, [44]–[46]; Bigos (n 3) 603; Briggs, A, Private International Law in English Courts (OUP 2014) [3.156]; Hörnle (n 3) 126; Svantesson (n 3) 356–7; Gössl (n 3) 275–6. It is all the more surprising that a US District Court recently relied on it in MacDermid, Inc v Deiter 702 F3d 725 (2nd Cir 2012).

131 See Hess (n 34) 106. See also the propositions made by the claimant in Pinckney (AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [69]) and the Czech and Swiss governments in Hejduk (AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [18]).

132 In particular under section II.A.2.

133 See Football Dataco (n 130) [39] (on Directive 96/9); Case C-324/09 L'Oréal [2011] ECR I-6011, [64] (on Directive 89/104/EEC and Regulation 40/94). See also Cases C-5/11 Donner ECLI:EU:C:2012:370, [28]–[29] (on the Information Society Directive) and Joined Cases C-446/09 and C-459/09 Philips and Nokia [2011] ECR I-12469 (on Regulation 40/94 and others) regarding offline infringements and Case C-98/13 Blomqvist ECLI:EU:C:2014:55 (on Directive 2001/29/EC, Directive 2008/95/EC, and Regulation 207/2009) concerning actual delivery to customers in the EU. See also S Depreeuw and J-B Hubin, ‘Of Availability, Targeting and Accessibility: Online Copyright Infringements and Jurisdiction in the EU’ (2014) 9 JIPLPract 750, 753–6.

134 Pammer (n 23).

135 eDate (n 17) [24].

136 Pickney (n 25) [15].

137 Hejduk (n 22) [14].

138 AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [63]–[66].

139 See, eg, Lein (n 34) [4.113]; Reymond (n 38) 415–45; Savin (n 15) 59; Schulz (n 3) 816–19.

140 See, eg, Cass, Ch com, 20 Mar 2012, No 11.10-600 (French Court of Cassation, commercial chamber); BGH 12 Dec 2013, RIW 2014, 377, [24]; 2 March 2010, New York Times (n 43) [20]; 25 Oct 2011, BGHZ 191, 219, [11]. See also Martón (n 6) 211–13.

141 See, eg, Cybersell v Cybersell 130 F 3d 414 (9th Cir 1997) 419–20; CompuServe v Patterson, 89 F 3d 1257 (6th Cir 1996). It is based on the ‘effects test’ developed in Calder v Jones 465 US 783 (US SCt 1984). See also Wang (n 3) 70–73; Jiminez and Lodder (n 5) 276.

142 See section III.A.

143 Pammer (n 23) [75]–[91]. See Martón (n 6) 213–14; Bogdan (n 5) 7; Svantesson (n 119) 301–3.

144 L'Oréal (n 134) [64]–[66].

145 Football Dataco (n 131) [39].

146 AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [64], [66].

147 Cass, Ch com, 20 Mar 2012 (n 141); BGH 12 Dec 2013 (n 141) [24]; 30 Mar 2006, Arzneimittelwerbung im Internet, IPRax 2007, 446, [21].

148 VKI (n 106) [81]; Case C-230/14 Weltimmo ECLI:EU:C:2015:639, [32], [41] (focusing on an objective connection between the establishment and the jurisdiction in question).

149 AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on eDate (n 48) [62]. See Martón (n 6) 215–16.

150 BGH 2 March 2010, New York Times (n 43) [20]; 25 Oct 2011 (n 141) [11].

151 Université de Genève, ‘Geneva Internet Dispute Resolution Policies 1.0’ (December 2016) <https://geneva-internet-disputes.ch/medias/2016/11/gidrp-1-0-geneva-internet-dispute-resolution-policies-final.pdf>.

152 Reymond (n 38) 217–21; Svantesson (n 3) 365–8; Lutzi (n 122) 813.

153 Schulz (n 3) 818.

154 Depreeuw and Hubin (n 133) 764.

155 Which may be the case for many services that use the English language and do not otherwise geographically restrict their audience.

156 Briggs (n 130) [4.163]; Mills (n 64) 24; Bollée and Haftel (n 38) 1292; Gössl (n 3) 282.

157 See, eg, Pammer (n 23) [80]–[84].

158 Reymond (n 38) 213; Thünken (n 50) 936.

159 Section III.A.

160 For other substantive EU instruments using a similar approach, see art 2(1), 3(1) 4(6) Dir 2010/13/EU; Art 2(1), 2a(1), 3(6) Dir 89/552/EEC as amended by Dir 2007/65/EC; Art 2 Dir 93/83/EEC.

161 Höning (n 15) 3–9; Basedow, J, ‘Kohärenz im Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrecht der Europäischen Union’ in von Hein, J and Rühl, G (eds), Kohärenz im Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrecht der Europäischen Union (Mohr Siebeck 2016) 3, 20–1.

162 See Mansel, H-P, ‘Anerkennung als Grundprinzip des Europäischen Rechtsraums’ (2006) 70 RabelsZ 651, 673. See also Case C-233/94 Germany v European Parliament [1997] ECR I-2441, [64].

163 See, eg, EU Digital Single Market Strategy (n 120) 5.

164 Case 33/78 Somafer [1978] ECR 2183, [12]: ‘a place of business which has the appearance of permanency’.

165 See Martón (n 6) 238–39.

166 Wood Floor (n 93) [42].

167 eDate (n 17) [42]–[43]; Wintersteiger (n 22) [37]. See above, at n 22.

168 Bigos (n 3) 590; Beall (n 127) 374–82, 88–90; Svantesson (n 109) 349–50. See also Briggs (n 130) [3.156].

169 Thünken (n 50) 934.

170 Höning (n 15) 30; Thünken (n 50) 935.

171 Thünken (n 50) 932–3.

172 See Höning (n 15) 49–51.

173 See above, at n 49.

174 Arlewin v Sweden App No 22302/10 (ECtHR 1 March 2016) [72]–[73]. The decision was based on the Court's finding that the Swedish jurisdiction was not barred by the country-of-origin principle in art 2(1) Dir 2010/13/EU; the Court left open whether its decision would have been different if it were (ibid [64]).

175 Gössl (n 3) 277–8.

176 Höning (n 15) 30–1, 52–4; Kohl (n 3) 179; H Muir Watt, ‘The Role of the Conflict of Laws in European Private Law’ in Twigg-Flesner (n 125) 44, 56; Schulz (n 3) 811; Thünken (n 50) 930. It should be noted, though, that this form of regulatory competition arguably is a necessary consequence of the four freedoms of primary EU law and thus generally encouraged by both the ECJ (see its seminal decisions in Cases C-341/05 Laval [2007] ECR I-11767 and C-438/05 Viking [2007] ECR I-I-10779) and the Commission).

177 Thünken (n 50) 929–30.

178 See section I. The most prominent example for a technology-specific rule is art 3 e-Commerce Directive (which, however, does not operate as a traditional conflict-of-laws rule (see above, at n 17); Art 25(2) Brussels Ia is another rare example; the EU Parliament's proposition for a choice-of-law rule for defamation (European Parliament Resolution of 10 May 2012, 2009/2170(INI)) would have been another one, had it been adopted.

179 Bigos (n 3) 603.

180 As was proposed, albeit unsuccessfully, by AG Cruz Villalón in his opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [41]; see in more detail section IV.A.1; see also Haibach (n 89) 261 fn 21; Briggs (n 130) [4.242].

181 See EU Justice Agenda for 2020, COM(2014), 144 final, 5–7.

182 As defined at n 20.

183 See section II.C.

184 Which are subject to the same rules as an action that would try to engage their liability (Folien Fischer (n 50) [52]–[53]) and therefore to the same criticism.

185 As to which see section IV.A.2.

186 Bollée and Haftel (n 38) 1292.

187 See section III.D.4.

188 ibid.

189 See Wang (n 3) 45–7.

190 eDate (n 17) [42]–[43]; Wintersteiger (n 22) [37]. See also Shevill (n 24) [24]; Hejduk (n 22) [25]; and above, (n 23).

191 See recital (16).

192 Case C-51/97 [1998] ECR I-06511.

193 ibid [33].

194 ibid.

195 Besix (n 54).

196 ibid [20].

197 ibid [28].

198 ibid [34].

199 ibid [34]–[35].

200 ibid [48].

201 ibid [50].

202 ibid [26], [52]–[54].

203 Hejduk (n 22).

204 See AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [19], [20].

205 ibid [45].

206 ibid [41].

207 ibid [45]. A similar argument was made in an offline case by AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Case C-352/13 CDC, [47]–[53]; it remained equally unheard.

208 In Hejduk, this followed from an overlap between art 4(1) and the causal-event limb of art 7(2) Brussels Ia, see ibid [45].

209 See above, at n 189.

210 For a similar argument see A Dickinson, ‘By Royal Appointment: No Closer to an EU Private International Law Settlement?’ (24 October 2012) <http://conflictoflaws.net/2012/by-royal-appointment-no-closer-to-an-eu-private-international-law-settlement/>.

211 See Bigos (n 3) 604–9

212 See above, at n 168.

213 Jiménez and Lodder (n 5).

214 ibid 268–70. For a similar argument see Briggs (n 130) [3.156].

215 See section IVA.1.a.

216 An opportunity for which may arrive when the Regulation is revisited in 2022 (see art 79).

217 See section III.D.4.

218 In addition, art 18(2) limits the fora where the consumer can be sued to their home jurisdiction; this coincides with the country-of-origin approach, though.

219 Art 3(3) e-Commerce Directive and Annex, 6th indent. See also Thünken (n 50) 932, 935.

220 See Crawford, E and Carruthers, J, ‘Connection and Coherence between and among European Instruments in the Private International Law of Obligations’ (2014) 63 ICLQ 1, 1920 .

221 See section III.D.3. See also Stone (n 32) 14–15.

222 Case C-548/12 Brogsitter ECLI:EU:C:2014:148, [25]–[27].

223 See Case C-47/14 Holterman ECLI:EU:C:2015:57, [67]–[71]. See also Alfa Laval v Separator Spares [2012] EWCA Civ 1569, [24]–[33]; OGH 11 Aug 2015, IPRax 2017, 105.

224 See AG Cruz Villalón, Opinion on Hejduk (n 37) [31].

225 Benincasa (n 79) [17].

226 See Briggs (n 130) [4.115]–[4.157].

227 Which admittedly raises the question of how such forms of dis-targeting can be reconciled with the proposed geo-blocking Regulation (n 121); see J von Hein, ‘Geo-Blocking and the Conflict of Laws: Ships That Pass in the Night?’ (31 May 2016) <http://conflictoflaws.net/2016/geo-blocking-and-the-conflict-of-laws-ships-that-pass-in-the-night/>).

228 See Lutzi (n 90) 2071.

229 See above, at n 133.

230 Art 3(2)(a) GDPR. Where the Regulation applies, however, the claimant will enjoy the jurisdictional privilege under Art 79(2) regardless of his particular Member State having been targeted.

231 With the exception of cartel law, see art 1(5)(c) e-Commerce Directive.

232 With the exception of the freedom to choose the applicable law and consumer contracts, see art 3(3) e-Commerce Directive and Annex, 5th and 6th indent.

233 Art 3(3) e-Commerce Directive, Annex, 6th indent, and art 6 Rome I.

234 See above, at n 17.

235 See Thünken (n 50) 940–41. Interestingly, such a rule would be relatively similar to the one proposed by the European Parliament to include personality rights violations in the Rome II Regulation (n 179), which also focuses primarily on the defendant and their activity, rather than on the claimant and the damage they purport to have suffered.

236 Which would evidently also require deletion of recital (23) and art 1(4). During the negotiations of the Rome II Regulation, it was argued that a regulation would be preferable to a directive when implementing uniform choice-of-law rules (see Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II), COM(2003) 427, 7); of course, this does not exclude the possibility of introducing such a rule via a directive; besides, it is not unlikely that a reformed e-Commerce Directive would take the shape of a regulation (similarly to the recent reform of EU data protection law).

237 Most importantly, it would preserve the parties’ freedom to choose the applicable law (art 3(3) e-Commerce Directive and Annex, 5th indent), which should, however, be extended to non-contractual situations. Regarding the exception for consumer contracts (Annex, 6th indent), see below.

238 Art 9 Rome I; art 16 Rome II.

239 Art 21 Rome I; art 26 Rome II.

240 See eg art 3(4), 7(1) Rome I; art 14(3) Rome II.

241 See section IV.A.1.b.

242 Pursuant to art 3(3) e-Commerce Directive and Annex, 1st indent.

243 See Mazziotti (n 118) 374. See also Green Paper on the online distribution of audiovisual works in the European Union, COM(2011) 427 final, 12–13, which discusses an extension of the country-of-origin approach.

244 See eg R Fentiman ‘Choice of Law and Intellectual Property’ in J Drexl and A Kur (eds), Intellectual Property and Private International Law (Hart 2005) 129, 137–41.

245 Hejduk (n 23) [22]; Pinckney (n 25) [39]. See AG Jääskinen, Opinion on Pinckney (n 50) [44]–[50]; Bogdan (n 5) 199.

246 See EU Digital Single Market Strategy (n 120) 6–8.

247 eDate (n 17).

248 ibid [42].

249 ibid [51].

250 ibid [48].

251 BGH 8 May 2012, rainbow.at II, IPRax 2013, 252, [18].

252 ibid [30].

253 See section IV.A.1.b. Thus, the claim in Martinez, which was somewhat related to the claimant's career as an actor, would also have fallen under the exception.

254 See eDate (n 17) [47], and the Opinion of AG Cruz Villalón (n 48) [48].

255 Hejduk (n 22).

256 ibid [24], [34].

257 Pammer (n 24).

258 ibid [76]–[84].

259 See Case C-533/15 Frisman OJ C 48, 8 Feb 2016, 8, which the ECJ will unfortunately not get an opportunity to decide.

260 Guidance could be found in Cases Wood Floor (n 93); C-204/08 Rehder [2009] ECR I-6073; Color Drack (n 93).

I am greatly indebted to Andrew Dickinson, who supervised the MPhil thesis on which this article is based and provided invaluable support and feedback throughout its development. In addition, I am very grateful to my MPhil examiners, Edwin Peel and Alex Mills, as well as the ICLQ anonymous peer reviewer and the participants at the International Law Lunch at the University of Cologne, particularly Heinz-Peter Mansel, all of whom have provided critical comments that have significantly improved this article. All mistakes remain my own.

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