RE: Compromised machines liable for damage?

If you want to choke off freeware(gnu, et. Al), sure, go after them. I doubt the licensing agreement allows it though. (IANAL).

I think all you’d do is encourage people to write more music about ‘freeing the software’. I’d rather not be stricken in that fashion.

I think that angle is DOA.


I've seen this argument time and again, and, the reality is that it is absolutely

In fact, it will do nothing but encourage freeware. Liability for a product
generally doesn't exist until money changes hands. If you design a piece of
equipment and post the drawings in the public domain, you are not liable
if someone builds it and harms themselves. You are liable if someone pays
you for the design, because, the money changing hands creates a "duty to care".
Outside of a "duty to care", the only opening for liability is if they
can prove that you failed to take some precaution that would be expected
of any "reasonably prudent" person.

So, liability for bad software and the consequences it creates would be
bad for the Micr0$0ft and Oracles of the world, but, generally, very good
for the Free Software movement. It might turn out to be bad for organizations
like Cygnus and RedHat, but, that's more of a gray area.

As to the specific example cited...

If no update has been released, in the case of Open Source, that's no excuse.
You have the source, so, you don't have to wait for an update. In the case
of closed software, then, I think manufacturer liability is a good thing
for the industry in general.