[Fwd: Germany]

David Johnson david at usermode.org
Sat Jan 27 23:20:02 UTC 2001

On Saturday 27 January 2001 07:48 am, Angelo Schneider wrote:

>  AND sure we have more than one leg to stand on. The same is true in the
>  united states. Of course you have implied warranties. Or do you think
>  you can say: "Here is software, I have written it. Pay me some dollars
>  and you may use it. But I OWN it, still. Nope, I'm not liable if it
>  hurts your computer :-)"

It is my own private opinion, and IANAL, that all commercial software should 
have the basic warranty of fitness of merchantibility. Even commercial Open 
Source Software should be warrantied. If the seller wishes to absolve himself 
of all warranty and liability, this should be made explicitly clear to the 
buyer at the time of purchase.

Non-commercial software is a complete different matter. And this warranty 
should be provided by the seller, and have no repercussions to the author 
(unless the author is the seller) or any contributors. If I buy a toothbrush, 
I want recourse if the bristles fall out in a week. Likewise, I want the 
software I have paid money for to actually do what it says it is going to do.

In the Open Source community we have grown to accept free and modifiable 
source code as a matter of fact. The next step for the software industry to 
take is to begin treating our products just as every other industry treats 
theirs: as merchantable goods. Offer a warranty as a matter of course for any 
bits you sell. A 100% return policy is a tiny burden to bear, and if it 
becomes standard for commercial Open Source, the proprietary side would soon 
be shamed into following.

David Johnson

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