Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Matthew Pemble matthew at pemble.net
Tue Feb 14 13:34:47 GMT 2012

On 14 February 2012 11:42, Theo Markettos <theom+news at chiark.greenend.org.uk
> wrote:

> In article <KsB7ZVDbBVMPFAlV at perry.co.uk> Roland Perry wrote:
> > "A federal lawsuit filed in Massachusetts could test the question of
> > whether individuals who leave their wireless networks unsecured can be
> > held liable if someone uses the network to illegally download
> > copyrighted content."
> How does this differ from a secured but public network?  Can operators of
> coffee shop or hotel lobby wifi networks, which are secured but have a
> password obtainable from the desk, be held responsible for traffic that
> their users generate?
> Are hotels liable for abusive phone calls made by their guests?

As I understand it, there are statutory "mere conduit" carve-outs in the
law for commercial service providers (US and EU) as well as historic ones
for postal and telephony services.

Therefore, assuming there is liability in the non-commercial context (which
I hope there is not but am not going to put any money on it), it comes down
to a weighting as to whether the services were provided as part of a
commercial service (liability excluded), non-commercially (the MPAA ownz
your base) or ancillary to. The latter being the sort of horrid factional
sub-jurisdictional and case law mess that lawyers love and engineers loath.

Matthew Pemble
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/pipermail/ukcrypto/attachments/20120214/38144eb8/attachment.html>

More information about the ukcrypto mailing list