Lets say Bob develops an online marketplace that helps facilitate the sale between widget makers and widget buyers. In some states, widgets are illegal. It is also currently illegal to sell widgets across state lines. But Bob isn't directly selling the widgets. His marketplace simply facilitates the pairing of widget makers and widget buyers and takes a small fee for the transaction and acts like an escrow for the sale. Bob knows this might be a problem for a US based company. So he opens the company in Costa Rica (This is an arbitrary choice, Any other country just not in the US) and hosts the marketplace outside of U.S. territory. Furthermore, his T.O.S state that in countries with laws against widgets. It is the Buyers & Sellers responsibility to adhere to their countries laws.
- Can Bob be held liable for the sale of widget's across state lines?
- What if the Buyer & Seller are both in states in which widgets are legal?
- What if the Seller is in a legal widget state but the Buyer is not?
- What happens if the marketplace was built for zero knowledge transactions? (The site owner doesn't know about specifics of the transactions)