EISi joins the initiative for open wireless networks

A few days ago, EISi joined an initiative calling for preservation of open WiFi networks in the European Union. In an open letter, the coalition of organizations - led by Electronic Frontier Foundation - warns the Court of Justice of the European Union against undesirable consequences of WiFi locking.

The letter was drafted as a reaction to currently pending preliminary reference in the case of McFadden (C-484/14). The case in question concerns mainly providers who operate under the Art. 12 of Directive 2000/31/EC (so-called “E-commerce Directive”) - i.e. “mere conduit” - and responsibility for content transferred over their networks. According to some judicial opinions, the currently applicable IP and copyright framework could be interpreted as obliging providers to use password protection in order to prevent abuse by third parties. Moreover, this scenario does not apply only to commercial entities, but also to ordinary citizens.
 
In the letter, co-authored by our member Martin Husovec, the coalition points out dangers of such precedent. The letter draws attention to importance of economic, social and technical benefits of open wireless networks and explains that in this case, the public interest should prevail over particular interests of right holders.
 
“Our 21st century needs 21st century infrastructure. Closing open WiFi is a step back, and not a leap forward.”, states the letter. “Intellectual property enforcement should spur economic progress and not lead to devaluation of the society. We hope that the Court of Justice of the European Union will consider this when giving its answers in McFadden.”
 
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European Information Society Institute je mimovládná organizácia, ktorá sa zaoberá prienikom technológií, práva a informačnej spoločnosti. EISi pôsobí aj ako neuniverzitné centrum pre výskum internetového práva a práva duševného vlastníctva.