German court awards damages for loss-of-Internet, says net is "crucial part of people's economic living standards"
A case before the German Federal Court of Justice has ended with a man being awarded damages for an erroneous Internet disconnection by his ISP. He sued on the grounds that being deprived of the Internet resulted in economic harm, and the court agreed:
But the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for the lost DSL line because the Internet has been a crucial part of people's economic living standards for a while now, the court ruled.
The internet is important because it offers access to information in the form of text, images, video and audio files. Almost all subjects are covered on the Internet, from light entertainment to highly scientific topics, the court said.
Because of its availability, the Internet increasingly replaces other media such as encyclopedias, magazines or TV, and it also enables a global exchange between its users via email, forums, blogs and social networks, the court said. In addition, the internet is increasingly used for the initiation and conclusion of contracts as well as for legal transactions and the fulfilment of public service obligations, it added.
Internet connection crucial to everyday life, German federal court rules [Loek Essers/IDG]