File Sharing

File sharing: No computer? No Wi-Fi? No liability!

A pensioner who was accused of breaching copyright through the use of file sharing websites has been found not guilty. And rightly so: the lady possessed neither a computer nor a wireless router.

File sharing: No computer? No Wi-Fi? No liability! © Nerlich-Images-Fotolia

File sharing: No computer? No Wi-Fi? No liability! © Nerlich-Images-Fotolia

File sharing without a computer

A pensioner, who was represented by lawyers from WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE, had received a warning letter accusing her of breaching copyright by making a copyright-protected film publicly available on file-sharing websites.

The case was logically at odds as the lady, who lived alone and had care needs, possessed neither a computer nor a wireless router, or any other internet ready hardware or gadgets. Despite this the pensioner was held liable for file sharing in the court of first instance and was ordered to pay the opposition law firm’s legal fees amounting to 651.80 euros (judgment from 23.11.2011 Az. 142 C 2564/11).

WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE successfully appealed the judgment and it was over-turned (22.03.2013 Az. 21 S 28809/11). In response, the opposition law firm threatened to take the case up to Germany’s Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH). However, the law firm has now withdrawn its appeal application.

“It is pleasing to see that the opposition law firm has finally recognised that they brought a claim against an innocent person,” media law expert and German lawyer, Christian Solmecke declared.

Solmecke continued, “Even if the BGH would have come to the same conclusion as to our client’s innocence, the withdrawal of the appeal notice means that she is spared the stressful experience of a second appeal.”

“We continue to hope that the aged case law which held internet connection owners liable for file sharing simply because they could not prove their innocence, will soon be a thing of the past,” Solmecke concluded.

Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

Do you like this article? Feel free to rate it now:

1 Stern2 Sterne3 Sterne4 Sterne5 Sterne (Not rated yet)

RSSComments (0)

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

By submitting your comment, your consent to our privacy policy is deemed to be given.