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Friday, May 27, 2011

Wellington's free WiFi may beg legal problems

Wellington's Free WiFi may lead to collision with file-sharing law

This week, to general joy, the Wellington City Council announced a revolutionary move -- to provide free wireless internet access to anyone in the CBD (central business district).

Costs are supposed to be relatively minimal, predicted to be $80,000 for set up, and then $216,000 per year, subsidized by advertising on the access page.

The National Business Review warns, however, that the elephant in the bedroom is the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act, which comes into force on September 1.

This new law makes the account holder responsible for the actions of anyone using their internet connection.

This means that if any tourist or citizen illegally downloads a commercial song, movie -- or book, the Wellington City Council will be in the gun.

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