a proposed change to the OSD

John Cowan jcowan at reutershealth.com
Sat Nov 2 23:34:52 UTC 2002

Bruce Dodson scripsit:

> If there is no contract, you can't contract away liability.  But if there's
> no direct relationship between you and the recipient (such as a contract),
> it's hard to conceive of a way that you could be held liable in the first
> place.  At least I, a mere software developer, cannot conceive of one.

That used to be the law.  But people got tired of buying useless and/or
dangerously defective products from stores and getting this answer:

Store: I had no way to know it was useless/defective: try the manufacturer.
Manufacturer: You and we have no privity of contract: try the store.

So after enough people got angry enough, the law was changed.
Now manufacturers are liable for the useless/defective products they
produce *to the ultimate consumer*, under a fiction of "implied warranty":
the manufacturer is deemed to have issued such a warranty whether he
has or not.  The warranty disclaimer is an attempt to dispose of this
obligation, and 1) it may not work at all in some jurisdictions, and 2)
it surely will not work unless the manufacturer SHOUTS it at the consumer
in an unmistakable place.

Winter:  MIT,                                   John Cowan
Keio, INRIA,                                    jcowan at reutershealth.com
Issue lots of Drafts.                           http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
So much more to understand!                     http://www.reutershealth.com
Might simplicity return?                        (A "tanka", or extended haiku)
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