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Re: [HACKERS] Support (was: Democracy and organisation)

From: "Josh Berkus" <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
To: Tim Hart <tjhart(at)mac(dot)com>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: Andrew Sullivan <andrew(at)libertyrms(dot)info>,pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Support (was: Democracy and organisation)
Date: 2002-06-27 16:07:30
Message-ID: web-1558978@davinci.ethosmedia.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-hackers
Tim,

> If a catastrophic software failure results in a high percentage of
> lost revenue, a corporation might be able to seek monetary
> compensation from a commercial vendor. They could even be taken to
> court - depending upon licensing, product descriptions, promises made
> in product literature, etc. For cases like open source projects, like
> PostgreSQL, there is no legal recourse available.

Well, there's the perception and the reality.   I can't argue that
company lawyers and auditors will *not* make the above argument; they
very well may, especially if they are personally pro-MS or pro-Oracle.
  You may be on to something there.

However, the argument is hogwash from a practical perspective.  In
pratice, it is nearly impossible to sue a company for bad software
(witness various class actions against Microsoft).  SO much so that one
of the hottest-debated portions of the vastly flawed UCITA is software
liability and "lemon laws".  Plus in some states, the vendor's EULA
(which always disclaims secondary liability) is more powerful than
local consumer law.

Or from a financial perspective:  An enterprise MS SQL 2000 user can
expect to pay, under Licensing 6.0, about $10,000 - $20,000 a year in
licnesing fees -- *not including any support*.   Just $2000-$5000 buys
you a pretty good $10 million software failure insurance policy.   Do
the math.

As I said, I don't disreagard your argument.  Just because it's hogwash
doesn't mean that people don't believe it.

-Josh Berkus




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