[long] Legal traps in open source *OT*

Steve Jenkin sjenkin at pcug.org.au
Fri Nov 1 04:49:24 EST 2002

James McNeill Wrote: [[Fri, 01 Nov 2002 10:49:38 +1100]]

> [1] -Yes, I know every car cold in australia must meet certain 
> standards, and if above scenario did occure the manufacturer would be in 
> shit. No such standards exist for software, so it still applies. it was 
> only an metaphore anyway.

Wasn't always that way...  Seat Belts only became compulsory ~1972.  Wearing a bit
[And the yanks still don't have uniform compulsory seat belt]

When people die in (easily) preventible ways the legislature gets interested
unless the profession gets in first.  That's why our national road toll has almost
stabilised - seems like most of the easy gains have been made.

People don't die with poor PC software. [US Navy ships may stall :-)]
Medical, Aeronautical, Nuclear, Telecommunications & Manufacturing Machiney
software is built & tested stringently - usually in the context of the whole
system's operation.

Until people _care_ [or it directly threatens lives], we're unlikely to see laws
or certification...  But see my other posting on 'Market Forces' - especially
after 9-11 people are starting to look for secure/reliable alternatives.



Any engineer repeating any of the many causes of the Westgate bridge collapse will
probably spend some time in jail regardless of harm caused... 
One cause was welding rods not dried.  The moisture in the rods becomes hydrogen,
which gets into the steel and causes 'hydrogen embrittlement'. Hydrogen 'ions' are
protons - they are _small_ and fit in spaces in the crystal lattice, causing
distortion & stress.

Steve Jenkin, Unix Sys Admin
PO Box 48, Kippax, ACT 2615
0412 786 915

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