suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from ZDNet about another troubling aspect of the UK's much-maligned Digital Economy Bill: "The government will not exempt universities, libraries and small businesses providing open Wi-Fi services from its Digital Economy Bill copyright crackdown, according to official advice released earlier this week. This would leave many organizations open to the same penalties for copyright infringement as individual subscribers, potentially including disconnection from the Internet, leading legal experts to say it will become impossible for small businesses and the like to offer Wi-Fi access. 'This is going to be a very unfortunate measure for small businesses, particularly in a recession, many of whom are using open free Wi-Fi very effectively as a way to get the punters in. 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 cafe,' said Lilian Edwards, professor of Internet law at Sheffield University." Relatedly, an anonymous reader passes along a post which breaks down the question of whether using unprotected Wi-Fi is stealing.
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