Monday, March 01, 2010

U.K. bill would 'outlaw open Wi-Fi'

[cnet] The U.K. government will not exempt universities, libraries, and small businesses providing open Wi-Fi services from its Digital Economy Bill copyright crackdown, according to official advice released earlier this week.

This would leave many organizations open to the same penalties for copyright infringement as individual subscribers, potentially including disconnection from the Internet, leading legal experts to say it will become impossible for small businesses and the like to offer Wi-Fi access.

Lilian Edwards, professor of Internet law at Sheffield University, told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the scenario described by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in an explanatory document would effectively "outlaw open Wi-Fi for small businesses" and would leave libraries and universities in an uncertain position.

U.K. bill would 'outlaw open Wi-Fi'

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