Pirates that also happen to be children might have just been given a free pass. After a 2007 case saw the parents of a then 13-year-old pirate get stuck with a bill of 5,380 euros for lack of parental supervision, the duo appealed on the grounds that they had told their son it was illegal. They argued that, by informing, they’d met their parental obligations. Yesterday, Germany’s Federal court agreed and dismissed the case entirely.
Furthermore, the Court ruled that the parents were not required to monitor their child’s online activities nor install special software to restrict his online behavior. This would only be required should the parents have “reasonable grounds” to presume that their child would engage in infringing activities online.
What this actually means for the future of worldwide piracy litigation remains murky. On one hand, the music and film industry will likely argue that this allows a loophole for any pirates with children. After all, an IP address only equates to a computer’s connection, not a person. Plus, this came from Germany. Just because one country made this particular legal call doesn’t mean they all will.
Feel free to tell anyone accusing you of piracy that your children did it. It might work better if you actually have them, though.
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