North American Network Operators Group

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Re: product liability (was: Virus Update)

  • From: Owen DeLong
  • Date: Tue May 09 14:25:55 2000

As an academic argument, I would like to consider the following:

1.	Given:	M$ released a product which contained "enabling technology"
		which allowed this event to occur.

2.	Given:	This event was a Virus/Worm which used Visual Basic Scripting
		and the Outlook Address Book to duplicate and proliferate
		itself to a large number of systems at a fairly high rate
		of speed.

3.	Given:	Storing and forwarding mail costs money.

3.	Fact:	M$ Has a monopoly position.  (Federal court ruling)

4.	Theorum: Companies and other Entities which provide relay service
		for an organization which falls victim to this event incurred
		costs as a result of the event.


Statement					Reason
===========================================	==============================
Storing and Forwarding mail costs money.	Given (3).

Relays store and forward mail.			Definition of Relay.

The virus generated a large amount of mail	Given (2), nature of email
to be relayed.					forwarding.

Entities providing relay service incurred	Given (3) and previous
costs.						statements

As such, I would argue that M$ release of a product with such widely known
exploitable vulnerabilities into a the market including customers of any
given relay service entity may, indeed, create standing for that service
entity to sue M$ on the basis of costs incurred due to M$ negligence and
negligent business practices.