Thursday, May 06, 2010

European Court of Justice Sets Absolute $1450 (1000 Special Drawing Rights - SDR) Liability Limit on Lost Baggage of Airline Passengers

Stephanie Bodoni at writes that EU Airline Passengers Can’t Get More Than $1,450 for Lost Bags.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has issued press release 43/10, dated 6 May 2010, in the case C-63/09, Axel Walz v Clickair SA, writing at the outset:
"The Court confirms that the liability of air carriers for loss of baggage is limited to €1134.71

That limit is absolute and includes both material and non-material damage

Under European Union law1, the liability of a Community air carrier in respect of passengers and their baggage is governed by the Montreal Convention2. Thus, that convention provides that the liability of a carrier in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay of baggage is limited to the sum of 1000 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for each passenger (a sum equivalent to approximately €1134.71)3, unless a passenger has made, at the time when the checked baggage was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of interest in delivery at destination and has paid a supplementary sum if the case so requires. In that case, as a rule a carrier is liable to pay a sum not exceeding the declared sum."
1 Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 of 9 October 1997 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air (OJ 1997 L 285, p.1), as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 May 2002 (OJ 2002 L 140, p. 2).
2 Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, concluded in Montreal on 28 May 1999, signed by the European Community on 9 December 1999 and approved on its behalf by Council Decision 2001/539/EC of 5 April 2001 (OJ 2001 L 194, p. 39).
3 The Special Drawing Rights in the Montreal Convention are deemed to refer to the Special Drawing Right as defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Therefore, those sums are to be converted into national currencies. The amount of €1134.71 corresponds to 1000 SDR as at 21 April 2010.
Read the full press release here.

EFF: Facebook Tries to Make User Use of Aggregating Services Into Criminal Trespassing Violations

At EFF Seeks to Protect Innovation for Social Network Users: Facebook Tries to Make Violations of Terms of Use Into Criminal Violations, the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes:
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is urging a federal judge to dismiss Facebook's claims that criminal law is violated when its users opt for an add-on service that helps them aggregate their information from a variety of social networking sites.

"California's computer crime law is aimed at penalizing computer trespassers," said EFF Civil Liberties Director Jennifer Granick. "Users who choose to give their usernames and passwords to aggregators like Power Ventures are not trespassing. Under Facebook's theory, millions of Californians who disregard or don't read terms of service on the websites they visit could face criminal liability. Also, any Internet company could use this argument as a hammer to prevent its users from easily leaving the service as well as to shut down innovators and competitors."
 Claire Cain Miller, Bits, New York Times, Facebook Is No Friend of
 ... and
Niall Kennedy's Weblog, Facebook v. Power Ventures and Data Portability, Authentication, and Authorization

Essentially, Facebook wants to deny users the ability to use aggregating services to connect to Facebook and to force every user to connect to Facebook only in the manner that Facebook dictates. Pure tyranny.

The more we learn about Facebook, the less we like what we see. Facebook apparently thinks it is permitted to do anything it wants while it attempts to keep its competition from doing anything that might reduce Facebook power. We predict that this philosophy will down the road end in severe legal sanctions against Facebook, who is otherwise trying to run roughshod over user privacy. Suing for trespassing while at the the same time engaging in its own -- what we regard to be criminal -- privacy invasion of its users data has got to take the cake.

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