Parents can be legally responsible for the unlawful behaviour of their children using home internet connections, a German court has ruled. It said that a woman had a duty to monitor the use to which her internet connection was put. German law firm Dr Bahr has published details of the case, which was heard by the Higher Regional …
Lost in translation?
Having read the ruling of the court (in the original) I would like to mention that the court in fact thinks that the husband was using the internet connection to share files(as seems likely by the songs offered). If the defendant would have been willing to identify/name the users responsible or possibly responsible she might not have been charged. Since she remained mute on this point the court sees her/her husband liable.(2.II.b )
Lack of supervision was mentioned only as "auxiliary reason" (hope this is correctly translated into english) explaining that the parents knew the possible dangers, Despite this awareness they were incapable to check the actions of their children. Since the children were aware of this incapability this resulted in effect in a complete lack of supervision in this point.
Unfortunately the court does not explain what measures would have been required and even mentions that this ruling does not set standards as to liability of the owner of an internet connection if a third party is using it for unlawful purposes like sharing of copyrighted material.(II.2. 2nd paragraph).
Note to parents: Your kids are (legally) chattel.
Owners are responsible for for their chattel ... and underage kids are chattel, no matter how you look at it.
Bottom line: Keep an eye on what your kids are doing! YOU are responsible for EVERYTHING that they do! Don't like the concept? Don't fucking breed, mouth-breather ...
Sins of the fathers, now sins of the children
By applying the same logic, a parent will be held legally responsible if a child borrows the car and kills another motorist or pedestrian. Or how about holding a gun owner responsible for murder when their stolen gun is used in a robbery.
Of course, ignorance is hardly a defense, but if you've taken reasonable step toward securing your computer/car/gun against abuse or unlawful use, you shouldn't have to take any blame for the actions of others... including your children.
"The ruling said that living with the woman was her husband and five children, aged from one to 13 years old."
Bloody hell! I hope the husband was the 13 year old.
But even then...