Internet fracas

France's chance to embrace the Internet Age has hit a roadblock. A court ruling in late February held a Web-server companyresponsible for the nude photos on one of its 40,000 Web sites. Reprinted without permission, the photos were of famous French model, Estelle Halliday. Shortly after the court fined him $70,000, Valentin Lacambre's AlternB server went out of business. Sympathetic French Internauts, who felt it was unfair to prosecute the server, not the site, retaliated by closing their sites. Speaking out, members of the governement, including Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said the ruling is a setback to efforts to push France into the Internet Age. One official has suggested a new law favoring open communications on the Internet. Until that happens, however, many impatient computer freaks may just decide to pack up their PCs and business where the market is more open.