liability for negligently distributing free software
Posted Sep 8, 2007 18:40 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata
In reply to: International liability
Parent article: Software liability laws: a dangerous solution
In practice responsibility is reduced by courts to a specific range of subjects, and "negligence" seems to be interpreted in a rather narrow sense. Just publishing code would not be enough if you have to download and deploy it first.
I don't think there's ever been a case anywhere in the world of someone being held liable for negligently coding and/or distributing software. I base that solely on the fact that I've never seen it reported in LWN.
But if you use your imagination, you can probably think of a case fitting that description where the negligence is so outrageous that the distributor should be held accountable, and courts would probably find the law requires it.
...IANAL. This kind of disclaimer for example is usually not necessary here in Spain,
I don't think it buys you anything legally in the US either (and I don't think that's why people say it). Besides the fact that no one has the right to assume someone is a lawyer just because he sounds like he knows the law, there's the fact that no one is liable just for giving bad legal advice. One would have to be actually "practicing law," which is a much more specific behavior than giving advice in a public forum.
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