Common Sense Wins: Finnish Court Says Open WiFi Owner Not Liable For Infringement By User

from the good-to-see dept

For many, many years, we’ve had a number of debates on the site about whether or not an open WiFi network connection should make the owner liable for what users do on that network. The perfectly common sense response is that, no, they should not be responsible under basic principles of protecting third parties from liability from actions of their users. But, common sense isn’t always so common, so we might as well cheer it on a bit when we see it. So, kudos to a Finnish court for ruling that an open WiFi user is not automatically liable for copyright infringement done via her network. As the press release about the case states, the anti-piracy group that brought the lawsuit failed to show any evidence that the owner actually did any infringement. The court also rejected the idea that an injunction be issued against the woman blocking such usage in the future. Thankfully, the court rejected that, recognizing that this would unfairly burden WiFi hotspot operators.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Common Sense Wins: Finnish Court Says Open WiFi Owner Not Liable For Infringement By User”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
20 Comments
pixelpusher220says:

Re: Re: Devils Advocate

Joe operates an open Wifi network that Sally uses to pirate everything from.

Sally operates an open Wifi network that Joe uses to pirate everything from.

This summary of the ruling seems to absolve them of liability since someone else was doing the pirating.

To use the obligatory car reference, if Joe’s car is seen at the scene of multiple bank robberies, he’s going to be a very high priority suspect of the police. Obviously if Joe lent his car to Sally that would help in his establishment of an alibi. (I know criminal vs civil…just devils advocate here)

What seems to be a perfect way around the law above only encourages more draconian restrictions to be proposed by paid for politicians in the name of [piracy|terrorism|children|all 3] etc. Just like the use of encryption is encouraging the FBI to ask for back doors to almost everything.

DinDaddysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Devils Advocate

To turn your own analogy back on you, you are saying loaning your car to someone should be illegal, since if Joe borrows Sally’s car to act as a getaway driver during bank robberies, and she borrows his for the same reason, they are magically absolved of responsibility for this.

And yet no one anywhere is suggesting loaning of cars should be illegal.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re:

No that starts in June or July when they pass on notices from a secret group using a secret method to detect “infringement” and when you get 6 of them they can take actions like cutting you off to make a media conglomerate happy.
If you think they are wrong it costs your $35 to attempt to challenge it in a pseudolegal method that has their hand picked arbitrator decide if the customer or the corporation is right.
And this system is fully funded 50-50 but the media corps and isps… which is a nice way of saying enjoy paying more for your content and your connection.
Antitrust investigation anyone?

Anonymoussays:

so how long before the Finnish Anti-Piracy Centre appeals this ruling then? it isn’t the result they want so surely the case has to go on until either the person charged cant afford to defend themselves any longer or a judge is found that will rule in favour of the Finnish Anti-Piracy Centre. i hear there is a good judge in Holland if they need one!

The Devil's Coachmansays:

When it comes to Open WiFi, I am the law.

If I want to set up an Open WiFi hotspot for my customers’ use, and any of them uses it to infringe, it is not my responsibility, and if the MAFIAA attempts to take my connection down, their lawyers will learn the true meaning of fear. A fear so deep that it will cause them to lose control of their bowels and bladder. A fear so overwhelming that they will no longer be able to speak, or walk, or even turn away. Fear so vivid that the lifelong tremors and nightmares that will result will alter their DNA, and be passed down to their progeny. This is how you deal with them, not by getting and paying for your own lawyer. That costs real money. Producing intense, paralyzing fear is free. And much more effective.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ยป

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
12:25 Australian Privacy Commissioner Says 7-Eleven Broke Privacy Laws By Scanning Customers' Faces At Survey Kiosks (6)
10:50 Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim (45)
10:45 Daily Deal: The All-in-One Microsoft, Cybersecurity, And Python Exam Prep Training Bundle (0)
09:43 Want To Understand Why U.S. Broadband Sucks? Look At Frontier Communications In Wisconsin, West Virginia (8)
05:36 Massachusetts College Decides Criticizing The Chinese Government Is Hate Speech, Suspends Conservative Student Group (71)
19:57 Le Tigre Sues Barry Mann To Stop Copyright Threats Over Song, Lights Barry Mann On Fire As Well (21)
16:07 Court Says City Of Baltimore's 'Heckler's Veto' Of An Anti-Catholic Rally Violates The First Amendment (15)
13:37 Two Years Later, Judge Finally Realizes That A CDN Provider Is Not Liable For Copyright Infringement On Websites (21)
12:19 Chicago Court Gets Its Prior Restraint On, Tells Police Union Head To STFU About City's Vaccine Mandate (158)
10:55 Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones (8)
10:50 Daily Deal: The MacOS 11 Course (0)
07:55 Suing Social Media Sites Over Acts Of Terrorism Continues To Be A Losing Bet, As 11th Circuit Dumps Another Flawed Lawsuit (11)
02:51 Trump Announces His Own Social Network, 'Truth Social,' Which Says It Can Kick Off Users For Any Reason (And Already Is) (100)
19:51 Facebook AI Moderation Continues To Suck Because Moderation At Scale Is Impossible (26)
16:12 Content Moderation Case Studies: Snapchat Disables GIPHY Integration After Racist 'Sticker' Is Discovered (2018) (11)
13:54 Arlo Makes Live Customer Service A Luxury Option (8)
12:05 Delta Proudly Announces Its Participation In The DHS's Expanded Biometric Collection Program (5)
11:03 LinkedIn (Mostly) Exits China, Citing Escalating Demands For Censorship (14)
10:57 Daily Deal: The Python, Git, And YAML Bundle (0)
09:37 British Telecom Wants Netflix To Pay A Tax Simply Because Squid Game Is Popular (32)
06:41 Report: Client-Side Scanning Is An Insecure Nightmare Just Waiting To Be Exploited By Governments (35)
20:38 MLB In Talks To Offer Streaming For All Teams' Home Games In-Market Even Without A Cable Subscription (10)
15:55 Appeals Court Says Couple's Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue (15)
13:30 Techdirt Podcast Episode 301: Scarcity, Abundance & NFTs (0)
12:03 Hollywood Is Betting On Filtering Mandates, But Working Copyright Algorithms Simply Don't Exist (66)
10:45 Introducing The Techdirt Insider Discord (4)
10:40 Daily Deal: The Dynamic 2021 DevOps Training Bundle (0)
09:29 Criminalizing Teens' Google Searches Is Just How The UK's Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll (19)
06:29 Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink (41)
20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
More arrow