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Re: Compromised machines liable for damage?
On 12/27/05, Owen DeLong <[email protected]> wrote: > Look at it another way... If the software is open source, then, there > is no requirement for the author to maintain it as any end user has > all the tools necessary to develop and deploy a fix. In the case of > closed software, liability may be the only tool society has to > protect itself from the negligence of the author(s). What is the > liability situation for, say, a Model T car if it runs over someone? > Can Ford still be held liable if he accident turns out to be caused > by a known design flaw in the car? (I don't know the answer, but, > I suspect that it would be the same for "old" software). But can't something similar be said for closed source? You know there's a vulnerability, stop using it... (I'm aware that this is much harder in practice) <snip dead horse /> > In general, if the gross act of stupidity was reasonably foreseeable, > the manufacturer has a "duty to care" to make some attempt to mitigate > or prevent the customer from taking such action. That's why toasters > all come with warnings about unplugging them before you stick a > fork in them. That's why every piece of electronic equipment says > "No user serviceable parts inside" and "Warning risk of electric shock". So what if Microsoft put a warning label on all copies of Windows that said something to the tune of "Not intended for use without firewall and anti-virus software installed" ? :) Isn't the consumer at least partially responsible for reasonable precautions? > They feel for the carpenter and the only option they have to help > him is to take money from the corporation. I'm all for compassion, but sometimes it's a bit much.. :) > Owen I guess, in a nutshell, I'm trying to understand the liability issue... It seems, based on the arguments, that it generally applies to "stuff" that was received due to some monetary transaction. And that the developer/manufacturer/etc is given a chance to repair the problem, provided that problem does not exist due to gross negligence on the part of the developer/manufacturer/etc ... Does that about sum it up? [From your other mail] > SPAM does a lot of actual harm. There are relatively high costs associated > with SPAM. Machine time, network bandwidth, and, labor. *nod* I agree.. My point here was that SPAM, when compared to something like a virus, is *generally* less harmful. Granted, SPAM is more of a constant problem rather than a single virus that may attack for a few days before mitigation is possible. I spend a great deal of time tweaking my mail servers to prevent spam.. :) -- Jason 'XenoPhage' Frisvold [email protected]