RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Back on Trial Over Nazi Issues

Yahoo! is in the hot seat once again for allowing Nazi-related items on its auction site.

A Paris, France-based group representing Nazi concentration camp victims has filed a lawsuit against Tim Koogle, Yahoo's chairman, over his firm's "alleged justification of war crimes."

Their demand? One French franc, which has a U.S. equivalent of 15 cents.

The one franc damages is deemed as "significant damage" by Charles Korman, a French barrister who file the lawsuit. Barrister feels that the charge will open the way for Yahoo to pay for a series of advertisements in French and North American newspaper to publicize the judgment.

The counselor has previously been successful in tackling so-called revisionists who claim that the Holocaust never happened, according to Reuters, which noted that Korman believes that if someone organizes a system like an auction where people bid for the best price, you excuse these crimes, and they become commonplace.

Yahoo! has faced the wrath of French courtrooms and U.S. civil rights groups for allowing "hate" material to be allowed on its auction site. Products in question included Klu Klux Klan robes and swastika T-shirts.

Earlier this month, the company implemented a monitoring program to prevent questionable materials from being offered. However, the company allowed coins, plates and related items to remain as auction items.

A French court had ordered the auction site to pay fines of about $13,000 a day if it did not install technology that would shield French users from seeing Nazi-related memorabilia on its auction site. French law prohibits the display of such material.

Last February, eBay, a Yahoo competitor, experienced similar public pressure. The company now prohibits the sale of Nazi or Klan items that are less than 50 years old.

A Yahoo! spokesperson could not be reached for comment at press time.