Open Source Click-Wrap Notice

David Johnson david at
Sun Aug 11 18:04:56 UTC 2002

On Sunday 11 August 2002 09:11 am, Bruce Dodson wrote:

> Although open source development isn't done in an emergency situation, it
> is done by many whose only goal is to help people, and who don't ask any
> compensation other than a nod of recognition. 

There is a very good reason why the various "good samaritan" laws specify acts 
performed during emergency and/or urgent situations only. Liability, as I 
understand it, is unconcerned with the actor's motivation, but only with the 
results of the action. Good Samaritan laws are exceptions to the rules for 
exceptional circumstances.

There are some good reasons for limiting liability for Open Source software. 
But the goal of helping people is not one of them. The good samaritan laws 
are bandages on a system that is slowly but surely being broken through 
abuse. We don't need more bandages, we need correct the underlying problems.

David Johnson
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