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The Courts

Examining Software Liability In the Open Source Community 241

snydeq writes "Guidelines from the American Law Institute that seek to hold vendors liable for 'knowingly' shipping buggy software could have dramatic impact on the open source community, as vague language around a 'free software' exemption could put open source developers at litigation risk. Meant to protect open source developers, the 'free software' exemption does not take into account the myriad ways in which vendors receive revenue from software products, according to a joint letter drafted by Microsoft and the Linux Foundation. As such, the guidelines — which, although not binding, are likely to prove influential on future lawsuits, according to attorneys on both sides of the issue — call into question the notion of liability in the open source community, where any number of coders may be responsible for any given defect."

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