Unplugged? Sue your ISP (at least in Germany)

January 25, 2013

Internet-friendly Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, Germany (credit: Kucharek/Wikimedia Commons)

Can you force your ISP to pay for loss of access to an Internet connection?

Apparently yes, at least in Germany, where a Federal Court of Justice awarded a plaintiff €50 ($65) per day for the period his was unable to use his DSL, fax over IP and VoIP services, Computerworld UK reports.

The rationale: 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, and 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.