UK House of Lords Proposes Eliminating Open Source SW and OpenID

That’s not what they think they are doing, of course. But the law of unintended consequences will ensure that outcome. SD Times has this article on a proposal floating around the UK House of Lords that suggests that SW companies be held liable for defects, regardless of the terms of the SW license. In other words the standard SW disclaimers would have not legal standing in the UK.

So what does all this have to do with Open Source? The article makes it clear that they intend that the law would apply to Open Source software, even if it’s free. If this happens who in their right mind would ever contribute to an open source project as an individual? Vendor driven open source efforts could continue, but individual contributions would vanish, or have to be made anonymously.

So what does this have to do with OpenID? Because of the open ended trust model of OpenID an Identity Provider has no idea of how sensitive the resources are that the relying party is providing for the user. If a provider is compromised and that results in a serious financial loss for a user at a relying party, the provider is liable under the proposed framework. The provider can’t make any reasonable risk assessments because the relying party isn’t even known ahead of time.

(Mirrored from TalkBMC)


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