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Re: product liability (was 'we should all be uncomfortable with the extent...

  • From: herb
  • Date: Wed Jul 25 22:27:55 2001

LBolton@geiger.com wrote:
> Your analogy is flawed.
> 
> The question is, should Firestone be responsible for someone going around
> slashing the tires?  No they shouldn't.
No, but they should be held accountable for not making a product that will
last as long as expected (warrented) or that acts in a manner that causes
harm to a user who is not abusing the product (constantly blowing out at
speeds considered "normal" like 65).

> Then why should Microsoft or any other software manufacturer be responsible
> for the damage done by third parties?
Why not?  3rd parties (script kiddies) are no different than rocks on the 
road:  They are there; you can't get rid of them; they cause damage; and
products should be made with them in mind... 
 
> You could make the argument that Microsoft should have designed more
> security into their products to prevent security breaches of this nature,
> but you could also argue that Firestone should make their tires out of
> kevlar to prevent people from slashing them.
Firestone (and most all other) tires *are* made with kevlar to give them
puncture resistance...  They and other manufactures want to make tires
that will last x amount of miles or time on the road.  They provide 
treadwear ratings so you can compair against other makes and models.
And there are a jillion different tire makers out there that make 
products of compairable quality that all can work with each other as 
well so you don't have to buy 5 tires of the same make/model...  And 
there is a standard system for fitting tires onto rims.

> We shouldn't hold the software manufacturers responsible, unless they
> willingly and knowingly left the security flaw in place.  We should hold
> the programmers that release malicious code responsible.
If Microsoft (and other OS makers) had the same quality standards as
tire makers, we would see up-times of 3 to 10 years.  (Or however long it
takes to use a computer to the equivilant amount of putting 100000 miles 
on a tire...)

Oh, wait--VMS and UNIX boxes have already been known to stay up for that
long... =)

Should people sue all makers of screw, nails, and other puncturing devices
for selling things that can screw up tires?

/herb





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