BGH – Judgment wi-fi liability

Internet users who open their Wi-Fi to the public can no longer be sued for omission if someone misuses their connection for illegal uploads. A corresponding new legislation from 2017 to abolish the so-called Störerhaftung confirmed the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe in the main points on Thursday (Case I ZR 64/17). The new telemedia law is compatible with European law, because the damaged companies still have the option to legally obligate the WLAN operator to block certain contents. In its explanatory statement, the legislator explicitly did not aim at password access protection here, but, for example, at the blockage of exchange portals.

The BGH did not follow this and should thus create new uncertainties: Literally it says in the statement to the judgment: “The claim to blocking measures is not limited to certain blocking measures and can also the obligation to register users, to encrypt access with a password or – in the extreme case – to completely block access. ” The chief civil judges had to deal with the new legal situation for the first time. In their basic judgment, they clarify many unanswered questions, but also raise new ones. Some passages in the law, which they consider inadequate, they also expose themselves within the meaning of EU law.