Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Mar 2011 23:21 UTC
Legal Well, how about some positive news to end this day? How about annoying the heck out of the Business Software Alliance? There's a new proposal for a directive on consumer rights in the EU, and in it, digital goods - software, online services, and so on - are explicitly defined as goods that are no different than any other good - like bread, watches, or cars. In other words, you would suddenly own the copies of software you buy, effectively declaring the EULA as a worthless piece of paper. Surprise - the BSA is not happy about this.
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RE: Flawed analogy
by sukru on Tue 8th Mar 2011 02:00 UTC in reply to "Flawed analogy"
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

Yes, people miss this aspect of the issue.

It's possible to write (almost) defect free software. It's done in health sector or at NASA, or some military areas. Nevertheless the cost of the software is significantly higher. $1000 per line of code higher.

If you'd like to pay for you laptop sums similar to an MRI machine, this is a good thing.

And there is the issue of open source software. Unless there is an exception, this effectively kills the "release early, release often" cycle.

Edited 2011-03-08 02:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Flawed analogy
by WorknMan on Tue 8th Mar 2011 02:02 in reply to "RE: Flawed analogy"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

And there is the issue of open source software. Unless there is an exception, this effectively kills the "release early, release often" cycle.


Yeah, I was wondering what this would mean for FOSS, or even free (as in beer) software. Would you really want to release something for free in the wild if you knew that Joe Sixpack could sue you if it wrecks his computer somehow?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Flawed analogy
by obsidian on Tue 8th Mar 2011 02:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Flawed analogy"
obsidian Member since:
2007-05-12

IANAL but I guess that's where the disclaimer clauses like this one come in (this is from the M.I.T. license) -
"THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE."

I imagine that there will still be plenty of people willing to use FOSS.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Flawed analogy
by Lennie on Tue 8th Mar 2011 13:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Flawed analogy"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Did you pay for that software ? No ? But you still want to be compensated ? That is interresting...

My software is a gift to the community, you are free to use it and you are free not to use it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Flawed analogy
by somebody on Tue 8th Mar 2011 18:50 in reply to "RE[2]: Flawed analogy"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

note that "customer" is used trough all legislation.

user and customer are 2 different points.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Flawed analogy
by tomcat on Tue 8th Mar 2011 02:40 in reply to "RE: Flawed analogy"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Yes, people miss this aspect of the issue.

It's possible to write (almost) defect free software. It's done in health sector or at NASA, or some military areas. Nevertheless the cost of the software is significantly higher. $1000 per line of code higher.

If you'd like to pay for you laptop sums similar to an MRI machine, this is a good thing.


Except people AREN'T going to want to pay what it would cost to write almost defect free software. But they're still going to want to sue you. Which seems like the wrong dynamic.

And there is the issue of open source software. Unless there is an exception, this effectively kills the "release early, release often" cycle.


I don't think it kills it. Just forces everyone to absorb the impact of new regulatory issues.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Flawed analogy
by JAlexoid on Wed 9th Mar 2011 03:29 in reply to "RE[2]: Flawed analogy"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Except people AREN'T going to want to pay what it would cost to write almost defect free software. But they're still going to want to sue you. Which seems like the wrong dynamic.


Ahh... I love when Americans are so ignorant that they apply their own legal system understanding and litigious mindset to other countries...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Flawed analogy
by Soulbender on Tue 8th Mar 2011 03:46 in reply to "RE: Flawed analogy"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If you'd like to pay for you laptop sums similar to an MRI machine, this is a good thing.


Last time I checked laptops were considered goods and thus not excempt from any liabilities. Good thing stuff like microchip design and manufacturing is nowhere as complex as software...

And there is the issue of open source software.


That's the interesting questions now, isn't it. OSS licenses also waivers any liabilities so what about that? Will there be or is there an exception. Does it not, for whatever reason, apply to OSS?

Edited 2011-03-08 03:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Flawed analogy
by Almafeta on Tue 8th Mar 2011 04:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Flawed analogy"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Last time I checked laptops were considered goods and thus not excempt from any liabilities. Good thing stuff like microchip design and manufacturing is nowhere as complex as software...


The only thing that's notably different about microchip design from program design is that there's no need to worry about the UI, as such. Mathematically, it's all just algorithms, so it's as complex (perhaps a bit moreso) as programing

*goes back to quietly lurking*

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Flawed analogy
by Neolander on Tue 8th Mar 2011 06:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Flawed analogy"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

That's the interesting questions now, isn't it. OSS licenses also waivers any liabilities so what about that? Will there be or is there an exception. Does it not, for whatever reason, apply to OSS?

Guess there will be a way to treat the "release early release often" model like we currently treat prototypes : it is forbidden to make money from them afaik, but you can have people test them under certain conditions. Pharmaceutical companies do this all the time...

What is worrying however is what will happen to GPL-like licensing which is totally based on EULAs... BSD/MIT can simply be replaced with public domain in most cases, except for the disclaimer.

Reply Parent Score: 1