Alternative rules for alternative networks? Tort law meets wireless community networks

Federica Giovanella


This paper analyses the existing rules on civil liability in order to test their applicability on wireless community networks (WCNs), with a focus on the European framework. In particular, the paper considers tort liability for three different actors: WCNs users, ISPs (in the case of shared Internet connection), and WCNs themselves; it describes the different situations to which civil liability should be applied in relation to the three mentioned actors. The analysis demonstrates that the structure of WCNs seems irreconcilable with the aims of current legal framework for tort law. The paper attempts to envision possible solutions through a multilayered approach based on social norms and contracts.

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