|From: Majewski Harry SrA 320 ECS/SCMJ
Date: Wed, Jun 28, 2000 4:02 AM
Subject: High-Tech Warranty Project -- Comment, P994413
Section 7, question A.
I think the appropriate way to look at software warranties and clickwrap license agreements is to divide software into several sections.
Open source, and so called "Free-ware" is exactly that. Consumers should have all the warranty and liability provisions they paid for. None. I beleive that forcing Open Source and Freeware writers to offer a warranty, or any kind of implied liability would stagnate the development side of software creation, as well as put a stall on advancing technology. If a warranty is required for something the consumer does not pay for, and is non-profit, then writers would be willing to distribute less for free, because of the forced warranty and liability. Numerous non-profit organizations that produce free software would be forced to either begin to fund a project and all it's liability themselves, or begin to charge the public for their products. Which defeats the purpose of "Open source", and "Freeware".
Stores that sell Off the shelf software for capital gain should be required to refund the money of a consumer, should that consumer not accept the End User License Agreement, or the terms of the software maker. A required period of time should have to elapse to ensure that Users have had the time to actually attempt to install the given software. Doing so would increase public awareness of the exact terms of the EULA, as opposed to people just blindly clicking yes. (Because today. if they don't, they can't take the software back to the store they bought it from.) Such a requirement would enhance the privacy of consumers, as well as giving some software manufacturers a much needed injection of ethics.
Software that is created or made for capital gain should be warranted for operability, hardware, and software conflicts, as well as providing an implied liability, should the software be proved to do something that causes a financial hardship on the user. An example of this is purchasing a financial database system for a bank. If the database was installed correctly, and by crashing causes the bank to have to shut down for a period of time to load backup software and data; then the bank should be able to go to the software manufacturer and attempt to recoup their losses.
Thank you for your time...
SrA Harry J. Majewski Jr.