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

One more quickie, this time Footnote 3 of Cipollone v. Yale & Davco (
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/1st/991494.html ):

Our conclusion that there is no breach of warranty of merchantability
justifies summary judgment on Cipollone's negligence claims against
Yale as well. See Hayes v. Ariens Co. , 462 N.E.2d 273, 275 (Mass.
1984) ("A defendant in a products liability case in this Commonwealth
may be found to have breached its warranty of merchantability without
having been negligent, but the reverse is not true. A defendant cannot
be found to have been negligent without having breached the warranty
of merchantability.").

So in Massachusetts, that implied warranty of merchantability is a
critical factor in establishing a cause of action for negligence when
claiming consequential damages in a product liability case.

But this decision also quotes Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products
Liability § 5 (1998). "If the component is not itself defective, it
would be unjust and inefficient to impose liability solely on the
ground that the manufacturer of the integrated product utilizes the
component in a manner that renders the integrated product defective." 
Happily, this puts a typical upstream developer in a somewhat
protected position; if Crimson Chapeau sells a Linux distro on a PC,
plus Hercules, to BigCo as a mainframe replacement, and BigCo's
transaction processing system goes down during the retail peak because
some driver is not designed to handle that kind of load, presumably
that's basically CC's problem, not Linus's or the driver author's. 
And that holds anywhere that the Restatement isn't overridden by local
law, which isn't that common.  Right?

- Michael

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