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  • YouTubing Down the Stream of Commerce: Eliminating the Express Aiming Requirement for Personal Jurisdiction in User-Generated Internet Content Cases

    The past few years have seen an explosion in the popularity of online social networks and availability of user-generated Internet content. The growing pervasiveness of user-generated Internet content combined with its potential to cause harm has created an urgent need for courts to reexamine the requirements for personal jurisdiction in Internet cases. Many courts require express aiming to the forum state to uphold personal jurisdiction in cases of harmful online communication. Under an express aiming requirement, the defendant must have purposely directed the harmful activity to the forum state. The unique nature of the Internet, however, gives instant access to potentially harmful communication anywhere in the world. Requiring express aiming in the context of user-generated Internet content does not adequately account for the technological reality that anyone can access the Internet from anywhere. Therefore, due process may allow personal jurisdiction in the forum state without express aiming of Internet content.