Microsoft and the Linux Foundation have recently teamed up against the American Law Institute (ALI). These two parties, who have a reputation of always being on opposite sides, have joined forces and sent a joint letter to the ALI regarding their concerns with the group’s draft Principles of the Law of Software Contracts. They both believe the new Principles will do more harm than good and should be revised.
Their main concern is a non-disclaimable “implied warranty of no material hidden defects”, as they feel this would have a negative impact on free and open source software and undermine the sharing of software. It would open the software industry up to unnecessary litigation. We agree that this could get sticky, and when these two parties come together, you know they mean business.
The ALI committee meets this week to firm up the Principles. Let’s hope they give the industry a bit more time and caution before finalizing!