|From: "Dawdy, Dan"
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <software-comments@f...
Date: Thu, Sep 7, 2000 4:53 PM
Subject: High-Tech Warranty Project -- Comment, P994413
High-Tech Warranty Project -- Comment, P994413
1. Limited warranties exist today for software because in part the great vastness of computer hardware, settings of that hardware and other software and its settings, running on the same computer systems or networks.
We would greatly reduce America's ability to stay atop this great technology wave that is sweeping across the globe at lightning speed if the United States government steps in to require companies to assume more liability than currently assumed with computer software. This would also be nearly impossible to prosecute because of the almost infinite number of variables that come into play with computer software. Companies would be forced into restricting the sales of their software to customers they have personally verified their computer systems to be 100% compatible with their software just to avoid lengthy and costly court battles in the future (and thus limiting technological growth by allowing different companies to use the same software to solve many different problems). Software agreements would further be forced into being 2 part agreements with the customer having to sign licensing agreements stating that they may not change there computer systems software, hardware, or network (including PDA's, Desktop computers, cell phones, phone lines, maybe someday even the watch you wear on your arm, etc) settings without prior written consent from the software company or risk voiding all warranties.
2. Currently most vendors offer trial periods, evaluation copies, etc of software packages. Any major metropolitan area has hundreds if not thousands of retail store locations at which they may view and demo new software and hardware products as they come out. As for software that can not be viewed or demoed before purchasing such as titles that are only offered over the web consumers can 97% of the time download trial version, evaluation copies, etc of said product. It is only a small percentage of software titles that offer no prior to purchase evaluations, and most often those titles still come with a 30 day money back guarantee from the vendor you purchase from. Those limiting any risk the consumer has to take upon themselves.
3. The United States government does NOT need to step in to protect consumers rights at the risk of limiting future innovation, and increasing the complexity of a simple purchase. Any consumer may request warranty information before purchasing a product and as the Internet grows most Americans have access to this information with only a few mouse clicks. Lets not sink America's fastest growing commercial sector to save the few lazy soles that do not research or evaluate or even use common sense before making their software purchases.
4. Many software titles are not sold at all! They are given away for FREE! No warranty is given, it is up to the consumer to decide if they want to use it or not. Imagine for a minute if all software required warranties we would not have LINUX, INSTANT MESSANGER, INTERNET EXPLORER, NETSCAPE, ICQ, or any of the millions of titles not sold but given away that continue to spur innovation and creativity within the software and hardware communities. We don't need the government to jump in and do ANYTHING!
5. SO PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't allow the government to step into a field they don't even understand at this point. If the government was up to date with what was happening in the technology sector they wouldn't even entertain this absurd idea. You will only be hurting yours and your children's futures as well as mine.
Thanks for your time and lets hope we all make the right choice with this monumental decision.