[svlug] LoveLetter reporting -- Microsoft, not computer, virus

dfox@belvdere.vip.best.com dfox at belvdere.vip.best.com
Fri May 5 17:07:30 PDT 2000

> <BLATANT RANT mode="Where did my rights go?">
> NPR was chocked full of sound-bites this morning with one Congressman
> requesting "21st century laws for 21st century crimes." The intention is
> to punish those who subvert computer software away from the intentions of

So someone using Excel for word processing stuff should get put in
jail :)?

Perhaps spam and other internet abuse will be prosecuted for the Federal
crimes that they are, and that IMHO would be a good thing. 

> its publishers.  No provision is made for engagement in offensive testing
> as a protected right.  Even more minimally, no provisions for consumer
> level inspection or recourse for lack of functionality are made in the

Other products have recourses -- drugs have to meet FDA compliance 
standards, and there's the FTC for catchall things like consumer fraud
and pyramids and such. I can't see why there can't be some sort of 
consumer protection standard for computer software (and by extension,
most likely all copyrightable electronic media).

I agree that some sort of protection is needed, such as in a case where
some unfortunate soul who is facing charges blames some rock band
saying it drove him to commit the act (which has already happened) but 
apart from those issues, we really need consumer protection -- the fact
that it's media/software/etc., shouldn't make a difference.

> 3. Reduce the liability for defective products of these corporate
> entities to 0.

Most shrink-wrap licenses (assuming them to be valid) already do this --
the liability is almost always limited to the defectiveness of the
media (you might get a new cd/floppy) and not related at all to the
defectiveness of what's recorded therein. In fact, on this point there
isn't any real substantial difference between what the commercial 
shrink-wrap license and the "no warranty" text of GNU and similarly
licensed software. On that basis, why buy it?

> -Charles
David E. Fox                     Census         Thanks for letting me
dfox at belvdere.vip.best.com        2000          change magnetic patterns
Be Counted: http://www.census.gov               on your hard disk.

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