Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Nicholas Bohm nbohm at ernest.net
Tue Feb 21 11:14:45 GMT 2012

On 21/02/2012 09:14, Ian Batten wrote:
> On 21 Feb 2012, at 07:02, Igor Mozolevsky wrote:
>> Firstly, that only goes to support the point that I was making---your
>> liability is limited to yourself and a clearly identifiable *small*
>> class of people, not the world of home owners (or in our case Internet
>> users) at large. Secondly, I would presume, the earlier inhabitants
>> still have the "it wasn't my 'handiwork' that was defective"
>> defence---the thing you are suggesting is eliminated for households
>> wrt "unsecured" wifi routers.
> As is often pointed out, real-world metaphors often fail to illuminate.  One reason for the building regulations is to avoid owner x doing a bodge job on the wiring and owner x+1 being killed when the RCD doesn't trip when it should.   It's not about liability, it's about safety.  That metaphor is very difficult to extend into the online world.
>> Naturally, there would be no problem is one were to try to download
>> the copyrighted material from the sharer and subsequently obtained a
>> search order and discovered the same content on the defendant's
>> equipment...
> It would be amusing to provoke the rights holders into attempting to use search warrants.  Aside from the fact I doubt that any court would be willing to grant one,

Copyright enforcement litigation not uncommonly involves a sort of civil
equivalent of a search warrant in the form of an order to the defendant
to admit the claimant's lawyers to his premises to search for evidence,
the order being obtained in the defendant's absence and served on the

>  I think it's safe to say that such sympathy as there is for the poor hard done by film studios [1] would evaporate as soon as the story hit the newspapers.

Up to now the orders have been used against alleged industrial scale
rip-offs, without much signs of controversy.  Using them in the domestic
context might indeed be inflammatory.

> [1]  Is it just me, or is the fact that you can't now go to the cinema without an endless succession of hectoring adverts about piracy really annoying?  I'm one of the people that pays for cinema, and the way that the people placing those adverts can tell is because I'm sat in a cinema watching it.   One of the benefits of watching DVDs is not having to sit through thirty minutes of shite before the film starts, and that's even more annoying when a large part of that shite is given over to wagging a finger at the people who precisely don't need to have fingers wagged at them.
Sums up the attitude, doesn't it.

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