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Ohio County Temporarily Cuts Off Free WiFi

Publication Date: 
November 17, 2009
National Public Radio (NPR) - Morning Edition
Steve Inskeep

Visiting professor Jonathan Zittrain is on NPR's Morning Edition discussing network liability in the case that an Internet subscriber does something illegal:

And today's Last Word in business is hot spot that was not.

Coshocton County, Ohio, was offering its residents free wireless Internet access on the block surrounding the county courthouse, but that free WiFi was shut down last week after a single user - a single user was found to have illegally downloaded a movie.


MONTAGNE: The story may be that the county overreacted. Jonathan Zittrain is a law expert at Harvard University.

Professor JONATHAN ZITTRAIN (Law, Harvard Law School; Co-Founder, Berkman Center for Internet & Society): It's not at all clear that for somebody running a network, the minute that someone - one of the subscribers is alleged to have done something wrong on it, there's no reason to think the network itself is responsible. In fact, there's plenty of reason to think that the network might be immune from complaint.