Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Igor Mozolevsky mozolevsky at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 11:06:48 GMT 2012

On 7 February 2012 16:24, Roland Perry <lists at internetpolicyagency.com> 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."
> <http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9224003/Copyright_lawsuit_targets
> _owners_of_non_secure_wireless_networks>

Despite all the analogies in the thread focusing mainly on breach of
duty of care, there is no established duty of care between an Internet
user and the rest of the users on the Internet, and especially no DoC
of an Internet user to an IP rights holder. Even if the first leg
(foreseeability of damage) of the Caparo test could be satisfied, the
test would fail at the second hurdle (proximity of the relationship)
and  the third (justice and fairness). On top of that, since there is
no physical damage, you have the whole mess of pure economic loss to
deal with...

I have no idea to what extent the American law follows these
principles, but I think it's going to be a very long time before
similar is tried in this jurisdiction.

Igor M.

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