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Open wi-fi connections can't be done for piracy

by on15 May 2012

Finns come up with interesting court ruling

The Finnish court system has come up with an interesting ruling which makes it impossible for people with an open wi-fi connection to be arrested for piracy.

A Finnish District Court has today clarified the legal status of WiFi owners for internet file-sharing in the light of various pieces of EU legislation. Finnish Anti-Piracy Centre, a coalition of entertainment industry rights-holders, had sued a Finnish woman for copyright infringement, demanding compensation of circa 6000 euros for internetfile-sharing conducted with the Direct Connect (DC++) protocol through her internet connection.

This alleged copyright infringement had taken place in a specific 12-minute period in July 14 2010. The applicants were unable to provide any evidence that the connection-owner herself had been involved in the file-sharing and the court looked at whether the mere act of providing a WiFi connection not protected with a password can be deemed to constitute a copyright-infringing act.

After looking at EU law the court concluded that the WiFi owner cannot be deemed liable for the infringements actually committed by third parties. If that is the case then it is going to be hard for Big Content to prove that someone who left their internet connection open was the person who pirated their content without taking the hard-drive. However to do that, they will need a court order and that will require a small amount of evidence.

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