Legal soundness comes to open source distribution
david at usermode.org
Sun Aug 4 17:34:37 UTC 2002
On Sunday 04 August 2002 12:18 am, Mahesh T Pai wrote:
> What is really necessary is a campaign to take Open Source Software
> outside the scope of (compulsory) statutory product liability.
I would hesitate to limit liability on the basis of Open Sourcedness. Rather,
I would base it on the commercial nature of software. Non-commercial software
should be outside the scope of product liability, but software obtained
commercially, Open Source or otherwise, would not.
My rationale is that an insurance burden upon non-commercial developers is so
great that it would stop Open Source development outright, since 99% of Open
Source software is non-commercial at the point of its creation. One should
not be liable for good deeds, gifts or helping out the community. Commercial
distributors, on the other hand, are at the minimum making the implicit claim
that the software is merchantable, suitable as a product, and safe, unless
Of course, the real solution is to fix the mess that liability has become.
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