by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 30th 2009 6:00am
A bunch of folks have sent in the story of a nameless pub owner in the UK who has supposedly been fined £8,000 in a lawsuit brought by a copyright holder over unauthorized downloads that were done over free WiFi that the pub offered. Of course, there is a lot of missing information here, so I'm not quite sure how much to believe of this story without further evidence. The name of the pub is not given. The information was provided by a WiFi hotspot provider, The Cloud, which claims that the specific pub owner has not given permission to publicize the case. Yet, if it was a lawsuit, you would think that there would be some court records detailing this. It appears that the laws regarding safe harbors for copyright infringement are not nearly as clear as they are in the US. Under the DMCA it seems that any hotspot owner would have safe harbor protections against such a lawsuit, and it seems odd that a court would fine the pub owner when it was clearly a user of the access point that did the file sharing.
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