1. Sarl Louis Feraud International is a French corporation that designs high-fashion clothing and other items for
women. Viewfinder, Inc., a Delaware corporation, operated a Website called "firstView. com," on which it posted photographs of fashion shows held by designers around the world, including photographs of Feraud's fashion shows. The firstView Website contained both photographs of the current season's fashions, which could be viewed only upon subscription and payment of a fee, and photographs of past collections, which were available for free. In January 2001, Feraud, along with several other design houses, instance de Paris seeking money damages for alleged unauthorized use of their intellectual property and unfair competition. Viewfinder failed to respond, and the French court entered a default judgment in which it ordered Viewfinder to remove the offending photographs, and awarded damages of 500,000 francs for each plaintiff and a fine of 50,000 francs for each day Viewfinder failed to comply. In December 2004, Feraud sought recognition of the judgment in U.S. district court in New York. The district court found that enforcing the French judgment would be repugnant to New York public policy because it would violate Viewfinder's First Amendment rights. The district court concluded that the "First Amendment simply does not permit plaintiffs to stage public events in which the general public has a considerable interest, and then control the way in which information about those events is disseminated in the mass media." Feraud filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. What should be the outcome on appeal?
2. State A has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a unilateral declaration pursuant to Article 36(2) of the ICJ's Statute. The declaration, however, contains the following provision: "This declaration shall not apply to disputes with regard to matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of State A as determined by State A." (a) Is this provision valid? (b) In a suit between State A and State B, may State B invoke this provision as to matters it considers within its own domestic jurisdiction? Explain
3. You have started a small high-tech company in New York.
a. You are running an informational Website. Customers must call your 800 number to place an order. A customer in Alaska is very unhappy with your product. Can he or she successfully sue you in Alaska?
b. You decide you want to be clear in all your future dealings, so you insert a forum selection clause in all of your contracts with your customers that stipulates arbitration in New York under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Would this be enforceable?
c. What if the forum selection clause stated that all disputes would be heard in Tibet?
d. What ramifications are there to changing your Website and making it more interactive so that people can place orders there?
e. What if your competitor is using your trade secrets and your patents without your permission or payment? Would you be interested in arbitrating this dispute? Explain.
f. What difference would it make if your competitor were a Dutch company?
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