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Open WiFi owner not blamed for downloads

Open WiFi could be your 'get out of jail free' card
Open WiFi could be your 'get out of jail free' card

A court in Germany has ruled that a man is not to blame for illegal downloading as he has an open Wi-Fi connection.

The whole case came to light when an unnamed musician sued a man for downloading one of their songs on a P2P site.

Even though the musician had the person's IP address, the defence suggested that, as he had an open Wi-Fi connection, it could have been anyone who downloaded the song.

The prosecution argued that, as it was his connection, he should be the one policing it. And the court agreed.

Decision overruled

Not wanting to be sued, the man appealed the decision and a judge in Frankfurt overruled the original verdict, stating that if other users use your open Wi-Fi network without your consent and download copyrighted material, you cannot be automatically held responsible for their actions.

This new ruling could have many implications for copyright infringement laws over the internet. Now that one person has blamed an open Wi-Fi connection, many are sure to follow.