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Yahoo, who were told by the French courts last year to re-configure their Web servers in the United States so that French nationals could not gain access to such memorabilia, believe that the French authorities acted beyond their powers as the enforcement of the order is likely to limit their ability to conduct business across the rest of the world.

The US-based portal filed a complaint in a US District Court in San Jose, California, seeking to have the French order declared unenforceable, arguing that the order violates US laws protecting free speech.

The judge ruled that Yahoo could challenge the French court order. Then the two French civil rights groups – The International League Against Racism and Antisemitism (LICRA) and the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) – that launched the original proceedings against Yahoo in a bid to ban Nazi items from the site, appealed against that decision, asking the US court to dismiss Yahoo’s action, arguing that the US court lacked jurisdiction.

However, US District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that because the two French advocacy organisations had legally attacked Yahoo in the US, the case would now be subject to Yahoo’s action in a US courtroom.

The lawyer for LICRA and UEJF has now filed a formal request to the judge, asking for a stay of the order pending an appeal court re-hearing.