27th November, 2006

Who Do I Sue?

Filed under: General — admin @ 2:09 pm

Via John Naughton comes an interesting analysis of the new Microsoft Vista EULA.

Whenever I suggest using Free or Open Source software in a professional capacity my colleagues or managers usually claim that its not possible because it isn’t backed by a ‘reputable’ company. What they mean by this is that there isn’t anyone to sue if the software somehow misbehaves and causes some form of loss. As Mark Rasch so eloquently argues in his article if you’ve agreed to this kind of agreement you have no rights anyway. At any point your ‘rights’ to use software licensed in this fashion can be taken from you, no questions asked. And just try suing for any sort of loss caused by software licensed in this fashion.

If there isn’t a better reason to use Free/Open Source Software I don’t know of it – but please feel free to educate me via the comments.

The next time my boss tells me that we can’t use Python or PostgreSQL because there isn’t anyone to sue I’ll print out a copy of the article and give it to him. Why paper? Because he doesn’t read anything on a computer screen.

12 Comments

  1. You might want to fix the links in the posting. But yes, it’s absurd that people won’t use Free (or open source) Software because there’s no-one to ask for help, shout at, or sue. And try getting Oracle or Sun to give decent support when it turns out that they don’t have anyone in the country qualified to handle support requests on their wonderful stuff, funnelling all such requests via some contact person and having resolutions (typically, with Oracle it’s “try the new-but-incompatible version 13.4.7.8.16″) delivered in a matter of weeks.

    Comment by Paul Boddie — 27/11/2006 @ 8:06 pm

  2. You might want to fix the links in the posting. But yes, it’s absurd that people won’t use Free (or open source) Software because there’s no-one to ask for help, shout at, or sue. And try getting Oracle or Sun to give decent support when it turns out that they don’t have anyone in the country qualified to handle support requests on their wonderful stuff, funnelling all such requests via some contact person and having resolutions (typically, with Oracle it’s “try the new-but-incompatible version 13.4.7.8.16″) delivered in a matter of weeks.

    Comment by Paul Boddie — 27/11/2006 @ 8:06 pm

  3. Thanks for the heads up Paul, links are now fixed.

    Comment by Andy Todd — 27/11/2006 @ 8:18 pm

  4. Thanks for the heads up Paul, links are now fixed.

    Comment by Andy Todd — 27/11/2006 @ 8:18 pm

  5. Could you not ask them rhetorically how Google, Amazon (insert list of billion dollar open-source based companies) cope with the dilemma? Or ask them who has ever succesfully sued (insert major proprietary vendor) for software deficiencies?

    Comment by Andy Baker — 27/11/2006 @ 11:25 pm

  6. Could you not ask them rhetorically how Google, Amazon (insert list of billion dollar open-source based companies) cope with the dilemma? Or ask them who has ever succesfully sued (insert major proprietary vendor) for software deficiencies?

    Comment by Andy Baker — 27/11/2006 @ 11:25 pm

  7. I just had lunch with a bloke whose boss also has an inability to read email. Must be catching.

    Comment by Alan Green — 28/11/2006 @ 2:25 pm

  8. I just had lunch with a bloke whose boss also has an inability to read email. Must be catching.

    Comment by Alan Green — 28/11/2006 @ 2:25 pm

  9. and the funny thing of course is that the Microslop EULA has said essentially the same since Windows 95.
    Did that stop any of these “legal genius” managers from making it the standard corporate desktop by default?

    Nope…

    Comment by Noons — 04/12/2006 @ 3:25 pm

  10. and the funny thing of course is that the Microslop EULA has said essentially the same since Windows 95.
    Did that stop any of these “legal genius” managers from making it the standard corporate desktop by default?

    Nope…

    Comment by Noons — 04/12/2006 @ 3:25 pm

  11. I’m not sure the closed versus open source argument is about renumeration in the event of some sort of loss, but you are right, there seem to be a lot of people that still use that old ruse as their motivation. Good blog post BTW.

    Comment by Kevin Closson — 04/01/2007 @ 7:55 am

  12. I’m not sure the closed versus open source argument is about renumeration in the event of some sort of loss, but you are right, there seem to be a lot of people that still use that old ruse as their motivation. Good blog post BTW.

    Comment by Kevin Closson — 04/01/2007 @ 7:55 am

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