An important aspect of this case is that the judge not only rejected that ACS law had any rights to make a claim on the copyright owners behalf but he went further and destroyed the idea that unauthorised secondary liability is a valid point of claim in the UK, ACS law where trying to get the judge to agree that anyone with an unsecured router was at fault in some way and thus liable, the judge did not agree.
“The plea that ‘allowing’ others to infringe is itself an act restricted by s16 (1)(a) and 17 of the 1988 Act is simply wrong,” noted Judge Birss. “The term used by those sections of the Act is ‘authorising’ and the difference may be very important if the allegation is about unauthorised use of an internet router by third parties."
Unless you have specifically given someone permission or authority to use your internet connection for copyright infringing from this judgement its clear you have nothing to answer for, the liability of any claimed infringement lies squarely with the inf ringer not the internet account owner.
It also seems ACS law had no proof they had given prior notification to the alleged infringers of court activity, the judge ruled simply that without such proof he could not issue a default judgement as to do so could cause a miscarriage of justice, he also pointed out that when an accused infringer had replied to ACS law a case had to be brought as it was clear no default judgment could ever be issued when the facts of the case are in dispute.
A sound and well reasoned judgement has been made here in my opinion, having some clarity on this topic is a service to all and allows folks to tailor their activities to comply with the law, thus respect for the law is safeguarded, Judge Birss has done the public a great service with this respectable judgement