New Wi-Fi download ruling could hurt us all
By Ian GRAYSON
A decision to fine a UK pub owner after a patron used a free Wi-Fi service on the premises to download illegal content is a classic case of the law being an ass.
According to numerous news reports a British pub owner copped a ?8,000 ($A14,500) fine when a patron logged on to the pub’s free Wi-Fi network and downloaded some copyrighted material. The court ruling against the pub could have huge ramifications for the operators (and users) of free Wi-Fi services around the world.
Is it just me or does this seem totally mad? How on earth can a pub (or any other facility for that matter) be held liable for what users do on its wireless network? There is no mention of the individual being fined ? why not?
Moving the responsibility for illegal online activity from the user to the service provider is very troubling.
As well as making a commercial premises think twice before offering a Wi-Fi service at all, it could scarper plans by many local councils to offer city-wide free wireless networks. One whiff of litigation and they’ll be turning their hotspots off faster than they dole out parking tickets.
And where does such a decision leave other forms of communication? Will postal companies be held liable for delivering items that contain illegally copied materials? Will mobile companies face similar charges for misuse of their wireless broadband services?
Such a ruling needs to be quickly challenged in a higher court and dismissed as the misguided thinking that it is. Failure to do so could stymie development of wireless data communications for years.
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Same thing happening here ... because of one instance of downloading copyright material on a free wireless hotsopt, we are all going to have to deal with the idiot bureaucratic outcome.
Another thing which pisses me off SO bad is that the advancement of technology itself is constantly held back becasue of greedy SOB's who don't give a damn as they have all the money they need to get whatever technology they want.
Why is it that we in Australia have to deal with such utter crap in regards to Internet connectivity whilst being a "first-world" country? -- Greed! The big boys in Telstra and other places could not be bothered to do anything else but milk the people of Australia dry for as long as possible for a service that is downright deplorable - all the while making promises and taking action on a rate of 2cm an hour so as to make it look like they are working ... what a bunch of crims ...
Why am I not able to walk around any city and be able to connect anywhere to a fast speed WiFi network? Do we lack the technology to make it happen? Do we not have the materials needed for the application? NO! What we lack is selflessness ... what we have is GREED and CONTROL and MONOPOLY and POLITICS ... all this rubbish that should be given the middle-finger and ignored for the wors problems in the world that they are today.
Why are people on Earth starving? Do we not have enough food? Do we not have any means to delivery goods, food and services? Do we not have the means to assist and educate? NO! The developed world is full of greedy and selfish people who only care about stuffing their own glutenous gut and spending yet another $2000 on yet another Plasma/LCD TV - all the while patting themselves on the back because they give a measly, slap-in-the-face, amount to some kid in Africa. What a heap of retardation! What a bunch of UN-DEVELOPED people living in a so-called "developed" world.
All the problems on this planet - Earth - are caused by - a lack of care and love!
Hence all such public facilities offering either Internet connection be it Wi-Fi hotspot.or other should consult with a solicitor as to placing a ‘Disclaimer Notice’ in full view of the public, and or getting the user / users to sign a disclaimer disclaiming any legal responsibilities for content viewed or downloaded.
Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk
Are you asserting that the UK law overrides the right of a rightsholder to give permission for copies to be made? That seems unlikely to me.
So what makes downloading a copyrighted web page merely for the purpose of reading it an offence?