[Koha] Questions on data security, liability and RFP issues
Brenda.Chawner at vuw.ac.nz
Wed Nov 17 11:56:49 NZDT 2004
Steven, I'm afraid I've being a bit slow on the uptake of this one. The responses so far have been very sensible, and I agree that good system administration practices are the best approach to security.
Your question about accountability and legal liability for open source software isn't something I've looked at so far.. The GPL (which is what Koha uses) explicitly states that the software is offered with no warranty (to my knowledge it is the most commonly used free software licence). If you know a lawyer, you might want to find out how that clause of the license might be interepreted in Manitoba. I know that there have been a couple of books published recently on open source licensing, and if you have access to a copy of either one, you might like to see if they say anything about this. They are Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing by Andrew M. St. Laurent and Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law by Lawrence Rosen.
Like you, I've come across the attitude that we want to buy things from a big company so that we can sue them if necessary, and think it's a sad comment about people's perspective (and a possible indicator of a future problem). You might be fighting an uphill battle with that one, as I think that free software is more easily adopted by people who are sympathetic to the concept.
FirstMonday recently published an article about open source development and education, and you might find some helpful arguments there. You can find it at:
School of Information Management
Victoria University of Wellington
P O Box 600
Wellington NEW ZEALAND
(04) 463 5780 fax (04) 463 5446 brenda.chawner at vuw.ac.nz
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