Liability & License

It turns out that the Quicken website is full of legal tips and advice. What caught my eye was a description of implied warranties.

Implied warranties don’t come from anything a seller says or does. They arise automatically when a product is sold. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, there are two kinds of implied warranties:

  • that the product is fit for its ordinary use, and
  • that the product is fit for any special use the seller knows about.

This comes up because we’re discussing policies and procedures for the public release/sharing of software code here at work. We don’t now have a policy, but things are held up while we develop one.

There are a lot of questions and concerns that arise from the distribution of application code, include liability, support time, and security. Nobody wants database connection details or passwords to become public as part of a shared piece of code, but there are other problems. In the absence of any specific policy — so far as we know — I’ve drafted/copied the following disclaimer to attach to all distributed code:

All contents copyright 2005 Plymouth State University.

All contents are made available under the GNU General Public License. Use, modification, and re-distribution are granted in accordance with the GNU GPL so long as this copyright, license, and disclaimer remain intact and conspicuous. Full license details available at < > .

These materials are provided “as-is” without express or implied warranty of any kind, including, but not limited to, warranties of non-infringement of intellectual property, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose.

Neither Plymouth State University nor any of its employees may be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused, or alleged to be caused by, or in connection with use of, or reliance on this application code, its processes, documentation, or concepts.

As part of all this, however, I’m finally getting around to putting the CreativeCommons attribution-share alike license notice here on this site. I did the same with my photoblog some time ago, bug Flickr makes it easy.