IN A PRELIMINARY OPINION, a bunch of sage European legal bigwigs have decided that public WiFi hotspots are not responsible for the actions of the general public.
Let's face it, who would want to be responsible for the actions of the general public?After all, they can get up to all sorts of very silly things, like ride hoverboards or agree with Katie Hopkins.
The European Court of Justice came to this 'preliminary opinion' while ruminating on the long-running McFadden case, which ISP Review tells us is a thing that concerns the good burghers of Germany.
EuroISPA kinda likes what it's hearing from the ECJ. It says that it is only right that a series of beams are not be held responsible every time a brain with some feet downloads a copy of the Life of Pablo, though not in those words precisely.
"Today's Attorney General Opinion further strengthens the consensus that copyright enforcement measures must be balanced with fundamental rights. It says that restricting the availability of WiFi access would be a disadvantage for society as a whole, that cannot be justified by benefits to copyright holders," said Malcolm Hutty, chair of EuroISPA's intermediary liability committee.
"I agree: the economic future of Europe depends on the widespread availability of Internet access, wherever you go, whenever you need it."
This is an opinion so it is probably about as binding as cheap superglue. But it's certainly a step in the right direction, according to Hutty and his crew.
"[The] opinion rightly considers copyright as just one of the many fundamental rights of EU citizens, one that can only be enforced as part of a balanced approach that reflects the importance of competing rights," Hutty added.
"In particular, the opinion strongly vindicates the right to privacy of communications, by precluding the providers of internet services from undertaking general surveillance of user activities on their network in search of copyright-infringing content." µ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked