Germany is to clarify the law on liability relating to open wi-fi hotspots, to remove uncertainty about whether providers can be held liable for the copyright infringing activities of their users.
Plans to amend the Telemedia Act have been submitted to the European Commission for scrutiny. The German government hopes that the amendments will lead to an increase in the number of wi-fi hotpots in the Germany.
Igor Barabash, a copyright law expert based in Munich, said:
Wi-Fi operators in Germany have traditionally faced liability for infringing use of their connections regardless of whether they were at fault. Even without any level of fault they could still be forced to cease and desist from infringing activity, potentially forcing the closure of their Wi-Fi connections altogether.
The German government has now outlined plans to ensure that operators of Wi-Fi networks cannot be liable as ‘interferors’ so long as they take reasonable steps to prevent infringement happening over their networks.
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