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DEB copyright provisions do not excuse open WiFi

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Feb 2010 7:06 User comments (3)

DEB copyright provisions do not excuse open WiFi The UK's Digital Economy Bill (DEB) may have a negative effect on establishments that offer open Wi-Fi access to users. Libraries, Universities, Cafes and other small businesses will not be exempt from anti-piracy policies in the Digital Economy Bill, meaning that a small business offering WiFi might be warned and held responsible for copyright infringement of somebody using their WiFi access.
Lilian Edwards, professor of internet law at Sheffield University, said that the scenario as described by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) would effectively "outlaw open Wi-Fi for small businesses," while leaving the likes of Universities and public Libraries in an uncertain position.

"This is going to be a very unfortunate measure for small businesses, particularly in a recession, many of whom are using open free Wi-Fi very effectively as a way to get the punters in," Edwards said. "Even if they password protect, they then have two options to pay someone like The Cloud to manage it for them, or take responsibility themselves for becoming an ISP effectively, and keep records for everyone they assign connections to, which is an impossible burden for a small cafe."

Lord Young, a minister at BIS, responded to concerns in an explanatory document. He said libraries could not be exempted because it would send the wrong message and could lead to "fake" organizations being setup, claiming an exemption and acting as a hub for copyright infringement.

In the case of Universities, he said that since these establishments already have strict policies with regard to copyright infringement on their networks, it would not be sensible to force them to abandon their current system and replace it with an alternative; falling very far short of a reasonable explanation and clutching at straws for justification.

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3 user comments

128.2.2010 15:11
jony218
Inactive

If people want to download piracy, they are going to download it no matter what.
If people have no wifi, they go somewhere else. If they cancel there internet, they find another way to get online. Eventually people are going to just hook up directly to the overhead wires, whatever it takes.
The only solution is to ban the internet to the masses, just have the government use the internet, like it was in the beginning. But then the government workers will start to download piracy. You never win.

When Al Gore opened up the internet to the average "joe" in the street, he created a monster. It's hard to put the genie back in the beer bottle.

21.3.2010 0:34

this article reminds me of gun control.

34.3.2010 9:58

Originally posted by jony218...
When Al Gore opened up the internet to the average "joe" in the street, he created a monster...[/quote:

Ah yes, Gore, the founder of the internet...NOT.

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