European Court of Justice Rules Wi-Fi Providers Can’t Be Punished For Piracy by Users


The European Court of Justice Rules That Free Wi-Fi providers are not at fault when users engage in piracy

Wifi image by Arkangel, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)

Whose fault is it when Wi-Fi users on networks engage in piracy?

According to the European Court of Justice, it’s not the providers’ fault. However, users who decide to get on a Wi-Fi network and then willfully infringe on copyright content laws are the ones at fault.

The entire case began back in 2010 when Sony Music attempted to hold a small shop in Munich, Germany liable for illegal file-sharing that took place over the shop’s Wi-Fi network.


The European Court of Justice’s ruling keeps in line with a similar opinion by the Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of the European Union’s Court of Justice. Szpunar stated,

the safe harbours enjoyed by internet service providers should extend to companies offering free wi-fi.

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