Greater legal certainty for the host of WLAN networks

On 2nd June 2016 the Parliament passed an amendment to the German Teleservices Act. The Council of Germany approved this on the 17. June 2016

Providers of wireless internet access points will be treated as access provider just like other Internet service providers are treated as access providers.

The plan: hotels, cafes, airports and similar providers of wireless networks cannot be made liable for reach of their duty of care if their guests violate third party rights (e.g. copyrights) during their use even if the wireless connection is not secured against use by third parties.

Critics of this legislative amendment doubt it will reduce the amount of cease, desist and removal claims filed against operators, i.e. do not see the financial penalties as having been curbed. This is because the adopted law does not eliminate injunctions as such, but only changes the category under which providers of wireless internet access points are defined. This may lead to new obligations being imposed on the providers, for example, monitoring duties.

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