[linux-elitists] class-action fun

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Fri Sep 21 12:33:57 PDT 2001

begin  Rick Bradley quotation of Fri, Sep 21, 2001 at 01:55:04PM -0500:

> Sue Microsoft for negligence.


> Thoughts?


You need to fire up your word processor and come up with a good
on-paper pitch to a firm that does class actions.

It shouldn't be too hard to do a web search, find the law firm that
won a previous high-tech class action suit, and get a meeting with
one of their partners.  

All you should need are some hard numbers on money damages, your
professional opinion as a security expert why executing arbitrary
code from untrusted sources is bad, and -- most important -- old
news clips of previous worm attacks showing that they -> should
have known that running untrusted code is bad. <-

(The last point is why this class-action idea might go further than
all the previous ones.)

Easiest to go for the class of people who run non-Microsoft web
sites and mail servers because of the license issue, but the big
bucks would include Microsoft licensees.  Best to let the lawyers
know about both options and let them pick.


Because of the publicity involved, the only way to lose this one
(short-term) is not to play.

In the long run, though, it might create a _real_ "there's nobody
to sue" argument against free software, and legal risks for free
software businesses too.

Don Marti      What do we want?  Free Dmitry!  When do we want it?  Now! 
http://zgp.org/~dmarti                      Free Dmitry: http://eff.org/
dmarti@zgp.org      Free the web, burn all GIFs: http://burnallgifs.org/        

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