Finnish them! (Google Glasses and WiFi Liabillity)

WiFi Pirate Party

In a piracy case that’s been sitting around since 2010, a Finnish Court(*Ylivieskan käräjäoikeus) has officially sided with the defendant, stating that she is not liable for her open WiFi connection.

The details of this particular case were very unique in that the timing of the infringement, a 12-minute period of piracy, occurred shortly after the woman in question hosted a public play with an audience of over 100 people in her home, which used to be a school until she purchased it.

Since there’s clearly no way to prove the home owner committed the act of piracy the court moved on to deliberate if the woman could be liable for ‘copyright infringement’ simply for not applying password protection to her WiFi connection.

After some deliberation the court concluded that an owner of open WiFi cannot be held responsible for the acts of third parties. Had this not been the final decision the legal status of all other open WiFi units, and wireless devices in general would have suddenly become questionable.

Personally, when I consider the frightening implications of assigning blame to someone who is partially a victim in a crime is horrible.

Lets put this in another context:

How would you feel if someone used a sophisticated cordless phone to attach themselves to your mom’s old cordless base station, ran some credit card fraud with her phone line, and she went to jail/was fined because she didn’t have enough security on her cordless phone?

It’d be like charging someone with a robbery because the suspects eluded the police by driving through someone’s property. You can’t say someone’s guilty of a crime because they didn’t lock their driveway gate.

While these examples aren’t exactly the same thing, this case opens the door to all sorts of concerns where we can’t hold people accountable for unwittingly providing an avenue for crime.

Google Glass Design is Patented

Not only does this show some further commitment to ‘finishing’ the Google Glass project, it also gives us a ‘sneak peak’ at a bit more of the design of the hardware.

Google Glass - Patent Schematic

Patent Links:USPTO #1, USPTO #2, USPTO #3

In particular I found the ‘behind the ear’ data module really interesting and it answers a few questions I had about how expensive it would be to get the needed circuitry down to a compact enough scale to fit into this product design.

I’m guessing that the top area near the ‘eyebrow’ with the ‘hashing’ marks is touch sensitive, allowing you to trigger things like photo capture or toggle an option that you need to be triggered explicitly.

I don’t need to tell readers that I’m personally excited about wearing my cell phone ‘inside’ the glasses I already wear every day. People who worry about the weight clearly don’t know much about eye-wear and balance.

The only thing I can see in this design that worries me is that it might have a tendency to be ‘right side heavy’ and I’m sure they could resolve that by moving something like the battery over to the other side and wire it via the frame.

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