Internet Jurisdiction and Venue

03 September 2012 Publication
Authors: Peter Vogel

Texas Lawyer

The Internet has changed life forever, and clients are conducting business around the world without a clear understanding of what laws apply or of the venue for resolution of disputes. This article will briefly describe how lawyers can better advise clients regarding Internet jurisdiction and venue.

Website terms of service (ToS): Over the years I have asked folks if they ever read ToS. Generally, my experience is that about 1 percent of people ever bother. Virtually every Internet website involves some contractual relationship between visitors and the site. ToS include restrictions on posting content and spam, limitations on liabilities and damages for the website, and jurisdiction and venue.

Another type of Internet agreement is referred to as a "click agreement" where the website user cannot acquire goods or services without "clicking to agree," which virtually is never read. Most often one can visit a website without a click agreement, but rarely can a user acquire any goods or services without such an agreement.

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