Your question reminded me of 2 guys (I can't seem to find a link to meaningful article, it was several years ago) who tried to use a defence against CI charges, saying the program (executable file) they shared on their website, was actually not intended to be a program, but rather a random part of the number pi. They tried to argue, that because pi is infinite, any given number sequence appears in it somewhere (which I guess would be true), including their binary executable code. So their binary shared file was just that, a part of pi, which also happened to be a executable for software x. That didnt go down well with the courts at the time.
The IE case was/is very complicated. I don't think so much the fact that windows comes with a browser was the problem.
The tight coupling of IE with the operating system in various places, effectively meaning one almost could not switch to another browser fully... The OS would essentially use IE (or some of it's components) in various places regardless of the user trying to move away from it.
Web Developers (at least myself) won't be too unhappy about this.
To be honest, working on the web means various juggling of browser specific items all the time. Inconvenient, yes. But in the grand scheme of things, when smooth running video is important in any specific project, work to cater for different browsers is being undertaken anyway...
This isn't necessarily bad news in my mind. We should be more careful of large market-leading company's diversifying very successfully. Anti-trust laws are there for exactly that reason.
Given the mistakes that have been made in the past, I think it's good they are there.
Let's not forget, Google is not necessarily as holy as some of us believe, and is working for, before anything else, it's own benefit.
@Marcus, my understanding is that they become antitrust violations when a company has the power in a certain market to push out any competition in favor of it's own products. It's a really old concept (from about Roman empire times) that are mainly in place to promote competition.
Indeed they shouldnt. People may choose not to buy their faulty products, or the manufacturer should reimburse their customers for all those seriously flawed cash registers.
However saying their are implicated in (any liability, however small implies they are implicated) theft because someone stole from their register while it shouldn't have been open is going too far in my mind.
this seems like a rather questionable way of looking at this issue Mike.
The laws around "computer hacking" have for years included specific points on any use/access that can be achieved through easy or simple methods (for example default passwords, or in this case, software bugs) that the user / offender KNOWS are unintended / unintentional. A quick google brings up this:
A person commits the offense of criminal use of a computer if, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe the person has such a right, the person knowingly accesses, causes to be accessed, or exceeds the person's authorized access to a computer, computer system, computer program, computer network, or any part of a computer system or network
This clearly (to me) includes what you describe above. Saying some liability, for the crime committed using a piece of software, should be directed at the software manufacturer seems equally distorted to me. Unless of course, serious negligence on the part of the manufacturer can be demonstrated. However in the case of a software bug that seems rather unlikely to me...
A computer system "allowing" someone to commit a crime doesn’t change the nature of the action undertaken by the person involved...
@copyright-gone-wrong dep. - I wonder, if the heirs of the songwriter potentially have more right to the copyright, shouldn't they have an equal amount of say whether this song should go to public domain? I find it a bit weird that the heirs come in to play once copyright is mentioned, but anyone can supposedly declare it public domain?
Disabling hosting or (I don't know how it particularly went down) telling Wikileaks "sorry, we wish we could host this, but we're not willing to take the risk and find out" seems to me like a perfectly reasonable descision to me.
Again, none of this implies whether I agree this is the correct / fair situation to be in.
Yes, I can actually empathize with Amazon's position on this.
Providing a platform for books to be sold to the general public is a service were liability residing with the author rather than the seller has not been challenged (in my memory, I don't have any proof for this, although I can't recall anything happening to the contrary).
However, the same can't be said by any stretch of the imagination for hosting website content. Should Amazon risks its entire business on hosting some content, arguably nowhere near its core business?
All of this, however, doesn't mean I don't wish to live in a world where Amazon can just come out and say: "Amazon believes it is censorship not to host certain web content simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable."
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