[SystemSafety] Limitation of liability (was Qualifying SW as "proven in use" [Measuring Software])

From: Pekka Pihlajasaari < >
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 12:50:06 +0200

On 26/06/2013 01:09, Steve Tockey wrote:
> In fact, I would even advocate a removal of the liability waiver on
> software licenses. Let programmers who write code that fails be liable
> the damage that their defects caused. Then, and probably only then,
> we see proper professionalism applied to software development. It's
> clearly (to me, at least) not an issue of software not being able to
> built in a solid, reliable way, it's simply that the practitioners are
> used to complete immunity from their sloppiness.

Software developed in safety critical industries is presumably supplied with licenses very different from the shrink-wrap disclaimers we are familiar with on commodity software. It are also much more expensive and provides less choice.

Is it possible that both the user nor developer would not benefit from mandating more strict liability? The probable reduction in choice as players exit the industry and greatly increased costs, at least partially resulting from insurance premiums, would clearly influence their choice.

Perhaps the invisible hand of the market has established that shifting the risk to the licensee is efficient. Certainly the model was prevalent even before dominant software companies could have created a status quo around this.

Pekka Pihlajasaari


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Received on Wed Jun 26 2013 - 12:50:27 CEST

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