Time Warner Sues Apartment Over Selling WiFi Access

from the interesting-case dept

In what could turn out to be quite an interesting case to follow, Time Warner is suing an apartment complex and an internet provider in NYC for reselling a complimentary DSL line provided to the superintendent, by hooking up a WiFi access point to it. This is going to bring up some very important legal issues about what can be done with the bandwidth you apparently “bought” (though, in this case, it wasn’t bought). Can the service provider restrict what you can do with the content? Of course, they can set up whatever terms they want in a contract, but is that really enforceable? Either way, I think this opens up an opportunity for a smart ISP, like Speakeasy. Speakeasy currently encourages people to share the bandwidth they buy from them via WiFi and even has a plan to help you resell that bandwidth. If I’m a provider of internet access in apartment complexes and Time Warner is suing people for these sorts of activities, I’m switching my service over to Speakeasy. In that case, Speakeasy wins, the ISP for the building wins, and the residents of the building win. The loser is Time Warner – or any other broadband ISP that refuses to let you share your bandwidth. Seems like, no matter what the legal position they hold, companies that place restrictive policies on their customers may end up losing out in the marketplace. The original story found via Wi-Fi Networking News.

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Comments on “Time Warner Sues Apartment Over Selling WiFi Access”

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alternatives says:

Should have picked SBC


SBC is now (or was just) running an advertisement featuring a lemonade stand that was offering up internet access as part of the purchase of the product.

Why would SBC feature ‘breaking their contract’ as an Ad?

In the same spirit I offer up the old Road Runner Ad. The one that talked about how you could download (perhpas they even said trade) music faster – if you just got road runner.
A defense to P2P’ing Time Warner Music – if you are a road runner customer?

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