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Re: [News] Federal Fight Against Linux and Free Software (Using Stereotypes)

Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> ____/ [H]omer on Saturday 01 September 2007 21:38 : \____
>> Verily I say unto thee, that Roy Schestowitz spake thusly:
>>> German and US researchers lay low, question just how far new law will go
>> .----
>> | The law doesn't actually distinguish between what the intended
>> | purpose of a program is. It just says if you put a piece of code in
>> | a disposition that is used to commit a crime, you're complicit in
>> | that crime.
>> |
>> | [...]
>> |
>> | Moore notes that most Linux distros are now illegal in Germany as
>> | well, because they include the open-source nmap security scanner tool
>> | -- and some include Metasploit as well.
>> `----
>> So when are the German authorities going to arrest Ballmer & Co. for
>> facilitating the creation and propagation of viruses and spam at the
>> hands of Russian pharma gangsters?
>> Is the German government so naive as to believe that the Windows OS, or
>> any of the software therein, could not be used to commit crimes? Why is
>> this judgement so heavily biased against Free Software?
> Give it time. The Germany government has just been pWned by the Chinese.
> Windows viruses on their PCs (zombie/hijack/botnet). Crucial data stolen. They
> may wish to take action (against defective-by-design O/Ses, but it might
> require time).
> Experts are calling for product liability for software
> ,----[ Quote ]
>| "Product liability does not apply to software," Gerald Spindler
>| of the Faculty of Law of the University of Göttingen complained.
>| "But what if a whole company comes to a standstill due to faulty
>| software?" he mused.
> `----
> http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/86932/from/rss09
>            ^^^^^^^^

This could have a huge impact on the way free software is used in
industry, and could have quite a detrimental effect.  The onus would be
on the last vendor in the chain to accept liability for the code it
supplies, and yet it could have zero control over what happens upstream
in the development process.  Corporage legal departments might well have
kittens over this.

The only way I could see this working would be if the software were
supplied free of charge or warranty, and all transactions would be
around support, integration, and so on.

This would surely torpedo Red Hat's current charging methods.

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk          |
| Cola faq:  http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linux/advocacy/faq-and-primer/   |
| Cola trolls:  http://colatrolls.blogspot.com/                        |
| My (new) blog:  http://www.thereisnomagic.org                        |

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