French Court Declares Itself Competent To Judge Facebook

Posted on Apr 12 2012 - 9:04am by Editorial Staff

The French regional newspaper Ouest-France reports that a French court declared itself competent to judge a case against Facebook. The lawsuit was brought forward by a French user based in Bayonne, who complains that he suffered damages when the social network decided to close his accounts. The French magistrates deemed the social giant terms of service clause irrelevant. As a result, the court decided to consider that French users couldn’t knowingly consent to making the US the default jurisdiction of their contract with Facebook. If it wasn’t enough, this decision also points out that Facebook gets a financial return for the services it provides.

Causes declared “unwritten” (translated):

But the Court of Appeal of Pau does not agree. She said this clause “is embedded in numerous provisions, none of which is numbered” . “She is completing a complex reading […] and becoming aware of these conditions can be even harder on a screen computer or mobile phone, for a French surfer of average skill ” she adds.

It also stresses that these terms had not been translated into French. “Therefore, it can not be considered [the user] is committed with full knowledge of cause and jurisdiction clause must be deemed unwritten ” notes the Court of Appeal of Pau. When a clause is declared “unwritten” , it produces no effect.

Finally, she also believes that if the service is said free, provided the user agrees to pay the U.S. company’s data, “a very important source of financing its activities,” she believes. “Providing service it provides to its users has a financial consideration. “

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