Internet is “essential” for modern life, according to a German court

By: Rechtsanwalt (Attorney) Carsten Lexa, LL.M.

The Internet is an “essential” part of life, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (Germany) ruled on Thursday, January 24th 2013. As a result, people have the right to claim compensation from service providers if their Internet access is disrupted.

The case was brought to the court by a man who was unable to use his DSL connection, which also offered a telephone and fax line, for two months from late 2008 to early 2009.

The man had already received compensation for the cost of having to use a mobile phone. But he also wanted to be compensated for not being able to use the Internet. According to him, he suffered from the loss of something “essential”, and that “something essential” was the ability to use the internet as such. Under German law the loss of use of essential material items can be compensated.

“The Internet plays a very important role today and affects the private life of an individual in very decisive ways.” a court spokeswoman told Germany’s ARD television. According to the court, the loss of use of the Internet is comparable to the loss of use of a car.

But high sums cannot be expected as compensation based on this ruling. For example if a car is damaged und must be repaired in a garage, the car owner can demand from the liable party approximately 40% of the cost for a rental car for the time period of the downtime. According to the court, such percentage of the monthly cost for the Internet connection must be taken as a basis for compensation if the Internet access is disrupted.

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About Carsten Lexa

Carsten Lexa, LL.M. holds an LL.M. in International Commercial Law from the University of Westminster in London, UK. He has been an Attorney at Law in Germany since September 2005: He was Associate Attorney at the law firm of Lachner Graf von Westphalen Spamer in Frankfurt am Main until May 2007 (Commercial Law / Corporate Law) and has been a Partner in the law firm of WPV Rechtsanwälte until May 2009 dealing with Commercial Law / Corporate Law / Contract Law matters. In June 2009, Carsten Lexa established his own law firm, advising corporate clients, especially family businesses, in the areas of Commercial, Corporate and Contract Law matters (Website: Carsten Lexa is also engaged in the academic side of the Law, being appointed Examiner at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg, and he is seminar facilitator in the field of claim management, company formation and company restructuring. Since 2010, he is also associate professor at the University of Applied Science in Würzburg.
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2 Responses to Internet is “essential” for modern life, according to a German court

  1. Very nice article. I certainly love this website. Keep writing!

  2. Carsten Lexa says:

    Thanks. We will write more during the next weeks!

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