Thursday, October 20, 2005

NRA Immunity, Programmer Liability, Author/Publisher Stupidity

A bill is being considered (and Bush plans to pass it through) to eliminate almost all liability for gun companies. So no sueing them if your kid accidentally kills himself or you are robbed at gunpoint by someone with a weapon designed to take down airplanes.

Meanwhile, pointing the blame rather than deflecting it, a prominent security advisor suggested that individual software engineers should be sue-able (rather than the companies they work for) for creating insecure software. So instead of making it a companies best interest to make good stuff, punish the worker. We're already short on students interested in getting into computer science at a time when almost everything around us has computer software in it. Now they'll be finding less risky work (like working for gun companies!)

And finally, shooting themselves in the foot are the Authors & Publishers who are suing Google for planning to make a giant online card catalog, where people could actually find obscure works for a change. Of course, this requires copying parts of the documents, and uptight (and misguided) authors are complaining it's their right to prevent it. Well not really (it's not illegal to index things), but wouldn't be better if people knew about your books?

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posted by Brian at 9:40 AM

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