Pub fined $13k for Wi-Fi copyright infringement

Companies offering open Wi-Fi access face legal uncertainty following a court case.

A pub owner in the U.K. has been fined £8,000 (about $13,183) because someone unlawfully downloaded copyrighted material over its open Wi-Fi hotspot, according to the managing director of hotspot provider The Cloud.

Graham Cove told CNET sister site ZDNet UK on Friday he believes the case to be the first of its kind in the U.K. However, he would not identify the pub concerned, because its owner--a pub that is a client of The Cloud's--had not yet given their permission for the case to be publicized.

Cove would say only that the fine had been levied in a civil case, brought about by a rights holder, "sometime this summer." The Cloud's pubco clients include Fullers, Greene King, Marsdens, Scottish & Newcastle, Mitchell & Butlers, and Punch Taverns.

The law surrounding open Wi-Fi networks and the liability of those running them is a grey area...

Read more of "Pub 'fined £8k' for Wi-Fi copyright infringement" and the followup story, "Law expert issues warning to open Wi-Fi operators," at ZDNet UK.

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