Merit Network
Can't find what you're looking for? Search the Mail Archives.
  About Merit   Services   Network   Resources & Support   Network Research   News   Events   Home

Discussion Communities: Merit Network Email List Archives

North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

RE: Compromised machines liable for damage?

  • From: Hannigan, Martin
  • Date: Mon Dec 26 23:20:06 2005

Title: RE: Compromised machines liable for damage?

In the general sense, possibly, but where there are lawyers there is always discoragement.

Suing people with no money is easy, but it does stop them from contributing in most cases. There are always a few who like getting sued. RIAA has shown companies will widescale sue so your argument is suspect, IMO..

 -----Original Message-----
From:   Owen DeLong []
Sent:   Mon Dec 26 23:11:13 2005
To:     Hannigan, Martin; Joseph Jackson
Cc:     NANOG
Subject:        RE: Compromised machines liable for damage?

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

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
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
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
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.


--On December 26, 2005 10:07:20 PM -0500 "Hannigan, Martin"
<> wrote:

> 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.
> Martin
>  -----Original Message-----
> From:   Joseph Jackson []
> Sent:   Mon Dec 26 03:13:02 2005
> To:     Hannigan, Martin
> Cc:     NANOG
> Subject:        RE: Compromised machines liable for damage?
> What about the coders that write the buggy software in the first place?
> Don't they hold some of the responsibility also?  IE I am running some
> webserver software that a bug is found in it.  Attackers use that bug in
> the
> software to generate a DOS attack against you from my machines.  No update
> has been released for the software I am running and/or no warning as been
> released. You sue me I sue the coders.  What a wonderful world.  (I'm not
> for this but its another side of the issue.)
>   _____
> From: [] On Behalf Of
> Hannigan, Martin
> Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2005 9:22 PM
> To: Steven M. Bellovin
> Cc: Dave Pooser; NANOG
> Subject: Re: Compromised machines liable for damage?
> Yes, I agree. As usual, I too am 'IANAL'.
> Marty
>  -----Original Message-----
> From:   Steven M. Bellovin [
> <> ]
> Sent:   Sun Dec 25 23:52:27 2005
> To:     Hannigan, Martin
> Cc:     Dave Pooser; NANOG
> Subject:        Re: Compromised machines liable for damage?
> In message
> <
> om>, "Hannigan, Martin" writes:
>> Dave, RIAA wins almost 100pct vs p2p'ers ir sues. Its an interesting =
>> dichotomy.
> "Wins" is too strong a word, since I don't think any have gone to
> court -- see
> <>
> as my source.
> Besides, it's a very different situation.  For my take on liability
> issues -- note that I'm not a lawyer, and note that this is from 1994
> -- see
> <>
>                 --Steven M. Bellovin,
> <>

If this message was not signed with gpg key 0FE2AA3D, it's probably
a forgery.

Discussion Communities

About Merit | Services | Network | Resources & Support | Network Research
News | Events | Contact | Site Map | Merit Network Home

Merit Network, Inc.