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

From: Tim Hart <tjhart(at)mac(dot)com>
To: Christopher Kings-Lynne <chriskl(at)familyhealth(dot)com(dot)au>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org, pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Support (was: Democracy and organisation)
Date: 2002-06-27 16:01:45
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Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-hackers
Could very well be. As I said, I'm not a lawyer. I do know that depending upon the laws in a region, EULAs can be proven to be legally invalid.

I do personally find it hard to believe that Oracle could be legally immune from *all* damages claims. In practice proving fault could be very hard to do ( "It was the DBA's fault - incorrect configuration", or "The OS has a bug in it"), but in general when a fee is paid for a good or service, there is an implied legal contract that at times can supercede any EULA. The good or service provider has some legal responsibility for the accuracy of their claims regarding the service provided, or the functionality of the project delivered. For example, the only clause that Ford Motor company could use in a sales contract that would absolve them from lemon laws is basically "The product you are buying is a lemon".

Your point is taken, though - I don't think one could succesfully sue Microsoft if Windows crashes from time to time. However, if M$ promises that product X is a complete COTS datacenter, and you buy X and find that X is nowhere near stable as the industry norm, you have a legal case - both for the cost of the product and in the resulting lost revenue.

I probably failed to convey in my initial post that I don't think the scenario is likely. Building and maintaining a db app involves technical talent on the part of the client, reliable hardware, networking, appropriate facilities, blah, blah, blah. So it's likely that blame can't be placed on one thing - and no single fault is probably large enough to be outside the industry norms for reliability of the product. I was merely trying to convey managements mindset. I feel the thinking is flawed as well.

On Thursday,  27, 2002, at 01:08AM, Christopher Kings-Lynne <chriskl(at)familyhealth(dot)com(dot)au> wrote:

>I think this is a common fallacy.  It's like arguing that if windoze crashes
>and you lose important data then you have some sort of legal recourse
>against Microsoft.  Ever read one of their EULAs?  $10 says that Oracle's
>license grants them absolute immunity to any kind of damages claim.
>Tim Hart Wrote:
>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.
>So - in the extreme case, if commercial Vendor V's database blows chunks,
>and causes company B to loose a lot of money. If Company B can prove that
>the fault lies squarely on the shoulders of Vendor V, Company C can sue
>Vendor V's a** off. Executive management isn't at fault - because they have
>performed due diligence and have forged a partnership with vendor V who has
>a legal responsibility for the claims of their product.


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