August 8, 2001

California court asserts jurisdiction over non-resident Internet publisher

Author: JT Smith

On August 7th, the California Sixth Appellate District
issued an opinion denying Matthew Pavlovich's motion to
dismiss the case against him for lack of personal
jurisdiction over him.

Pavlovich, who was a college student in Indiana and now
lives in Texas, claims postings made to the LiVID mailing
list, which he ran from his home computer should not subject
him to defending himself in California. LiVID is an open
source development team working to build a DVD player
compatible with the Linux operating system that could
compete with the movie studios' monopoly on DVD players. In
January 2000, a California judge issued an injunction
banning dozens of individuals, including Pavlovich, from
publishing DeCSS computer code.

Today, the court held that because Pavlovich knew the movie
business was in California, publishing information that
might have an effect on its profits was a sufficient
connection to find Pavlovich within the court's purview.

This ruling magnifies the ability of Hollywood or other
businesses to successfully sue anyone in the world who
publishes information on the Internet which the movie
studios claim could hurt their profits. Pavlovich is
considering an appeal of the order to the California Supreme
Court on Constitutional Due Process grounds.

Text of ruling:

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