Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Roland Perry lists at internetpolicyagency.com
Tue Feb 14 13:35:33 GMT 2012

In article <E1RxGmC-00086v-MS at chiark.greenend.org.uk>, Theo Markettos 
<theom+news at chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes
>> "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?

My understanding is that as long as the operator in question complies 
with the DMCA, they are safe in this respect. The important difference 
being that even if they offer the service "free", it's still an 
intentional service for their customers.

>Are hotels liable for abusive phone calls made by their guests?

No, under different telecoms law.
Roland Perry

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