Analyzing Approaches to Internet Jurisdiction Based on Model of Harbors and the High Seas

W.G. Jiménez, A.R. Lodder

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The inherent cross-border nature of the internet has challenged the legal system for over two decades. In this paper we introduce a model in which the internet is approached as if it were the high seas, the harbor of origin, the harbor of destination, or a combination of these. This model is used to rephrase existing case law related to internet jurisdiction from an international law perspective, the US and the EU (in particular Germany and the Netherlands). The model helps to illuminate the positions taken by the parties and the judge, and to indicate possible alternative interpretations. In some cases a high seas approach would have made sense (Yahoo!), or more recently the Vacation Rental by Owner case about trademarks where registration in one country was deemed to have an effect everywhere a person had the trademark on his or her computer screen. In H&M v G-star the Dutch Supreme Court even established jurisdiction based on an infringing product that was not available in the city of the court but was to become available on the internet some time in the future. We do not take a position in this paper on what perspective, based on our model, is best, but make clear how to identify the possible arguments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalInternational review of law, computers and technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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