We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Digital Economy Bill could wipe out free Wi-Fi

Bill makes hotspots liable for file-sharing activity

Free Wi-Fi hotspots could be wiped out thanks to the Digital Economy Bill.

The Bill lays out measures designed to tackle internet piracy. However, universities, libraries and small businesses offering open Wi-Fi connections will not be exempt from these proposals.

They will face the same penalties, including disconnection from the web, if the connection is found to have been used to illegally download copyrighted material.

Lilian Edwards, professor of internet law at Sheffield University, told ZDNet, that many will simply stop offering free Wi-Fi rather than risk being prosecuted for illegal file-sharing.

"Even if they password protect, they then have two options - to pay someone like The Cloud to manage it for them, or take responsibility themselves for becoming an ISP effectively, and keep records for everyone they assign connections to, which is an impossible burden for a small café."

According to Lord Young from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) if libraries were exempt it "would send entirely the wrong signal and could lead to 'fake' organisations being set up, claiming an exemption and becoming a hub for copyright infringement".

See also: Govt won't disconnect illegal downloaders


IDG UK Sites

iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2 comparison: New iPad mini 3 isn't worth £80 more

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...