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Re: Bug#317359: kde: ..3'rd "Help"->"About $KDE-app" tab calls th e GPL "License Agreement", ie; a contract.

> After researching implied warranties in the US a little bit, I know
> little more about that particular question, other than that they vary
> wildly from state to state in the absence of federal regulation of a
> particular industry -- but I do know that I never want to own an RV, I
> don't trust the FDA to regulate cosmetic surgery or the EPA to
> regulate pesticides, and I'm never going to eat another
> non-QAI-certified-organic banana.

Here's at least one encouraging reference (found via "merchantability"
rather than "implied warranty"):  Kearney v. IBM (
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/9435890.html ).  If
you've ever seen Big Blue in action, I think you will agree that a
vendor of products (rather than services) would have to work pretty
hard to establish a "special relationship" for liability purposes in
Oregon if IBM's sales tactics failed to do so.  I say "in Oregon",
rather than in the Ninth Circuit as a whole, because of the use of an
Oregon Supreme Court precedent:

Under Oregon common law, as set out by the Oregon Supreme Court in the
seminal case of Onita Pacific Corp. v. Trustees of Bronson, tort
claims for purely economic loss "must be predicated on some duty of
the negligent actor to the injured party beyond the common law duty to
exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm." 843 P.2d 890,
896 (Or. 1992) (In Banc). The Oregon Supreme Court held that while one
" `ordinarily is not liable for negligently causing a stranger's
purely economic loss without injuring his person or property,' " id.
(quoting Hale v. Groce, 304 Or. 281, 283, 744 P.2d 1289 (1987)),
"under some circumstances, one may be liable for economic loss
sustained by others who rely on one's representations negligently
made." Id. The court defined "economic losses" as "financial losses
such as indebtedness incurred and return of monies paid, as
distinguished from damages for injury to person or property." Id. at

The opinion goes on to articulate what sort of "special relationships"
can create such a duty to avoid negligent misrepresentation.  Looks
like anyone seriously interested in the subject should consult Alfred
Hill's "Damages for Innocent Misrepresentation", a 1973 article in the
Columbia Law review.  In short, a vendor-customer relationship appears
to be a hell of a lot safer than a consultant-client relationship if
you want to disclaim implied warranties of merchantability, fitness
for a particular purpose, and all that.  IANAL, TINLA, I just walked
by FindLaw without my tinfoil hat.

- Michael

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