EU Court: Store Holder not liable for infringements on open Wi-Fi network




The European Court of Justice has ruled in the Mc Fadden case that a shop owner is not liable for copyright infringements committed by an open Wi-Fi network. However, an entitled party demands that he protects its network with a password.

In this way necessary to prevent network users from committing further offenses, so wrote the Court. Thus a shop owner can legally be seen as an intermediary, such as a hosting provider. Under certain conditions, these agents include nothing more than a ‘conduit’ for information, the EU Court wrote.

The conditions are that the initiative for the transfer may not lie with the service that the recipient of the information is not determined by the service provider and that the data does not select or modify the service.

That means that as long as a shopkeeper only open up its network and continue to not interfere with the information exchanged it, he is seen as such an intermediary. Therefore, he also is not liable for copyright infringement by users of its network, for example if they download a movie.

However, it is possible that the holder of that film by a court or regulator to prevent the shop an order late impose further infringements. An appropriate measure according to the Court to set a password that users can not obtain anonymous.

However, there is not a store owner be expected to keep its network constantly monitored and actively infringements seeks. Also may be asked not complete closure of the open network, when less restrictive measures are possible. The EU Court of Justice in this case, answer the questions raised by a German court. The dispute between Sony and plays Tobias Mc Fadden, who has a listing for light and sound technology.

There he offered an open network, through which a user by 2010 music downloaded from Sony. In Germany, owners of open Wi-Fi networks are liable for infringements committed by users. This Störerhaftung should, however, soon abolished are.


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