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German Court Gives Right to Compensation Over Internet Disruption

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Internet by Keith Ramsey on Flickr (CC license)

Internet by Keith Ramsey on Flickr (CC license)

The Federal Court of Justice has ruled that the Internet has become one of life’s necessities, and therefore, citizens can recover damages when their service is interrupted.

“Most people in Germany use the Internet daily. Thus, it has become an essential medium in the life of German society, the disruption of which has an immediate impact on the course of everyday life,” the court in Karlsruhe stated.

The underlying case involved a man who lost access to his high-speed Internet connection, including telephone and fax, for two months in 2008-2009. He had already been compensated for having to use a cell phone during that time, but this lawsuit represented his request to be compensated for not being able to use the Internet.

German law allows recovery of compensation for the loss of “essentials,” and the court found the Internet is such an item, comparing it to a car.

The ruling reaches further than simply compensating the man in question, too; German law prohibits the repossession of “essentials” in the case of unpaid debts. With this decision, the Internet is also now considered one of the “essentials” that creditors cannot touch along with cars, refrigerators, beds, and other basics.

What do you think of this ruling?


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February 1st, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Legal News

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