3

For example, in the MIT license we find this paragraph:

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

I, as simple human being on this Earth, cannot understand this (at least I hardly understand it).

Why is it all written with uppercase letters?

Does it basically mean that the author of the software is not responsible for any damages?

I need a simple human-understandable alternative for this long paragraph. :-)

8

Similar to this question and this one, the Uniform Commercial Code requires that exclusion of warranty be conspicuous. While it does not specify the manner in which text should be made conspicuous, putting it in all caps certainly has that effect if the surrounding text is in sentence case.

The meaning is that all products come with implied warranties of merchantability (it is good enough to be sold to you) and fitness for purpose (it will do what it's meant to, and what you've been told it will do). This text excludes this product from those warranties (that is, those warranties do not apply).

It also disclaims liability for claims and damages, which means that if this software causes you harm or damage, you can't file a suit to recover any loss. Whether this is enforceable would be decided by a court.

  • 1
    The UCC only applies to the USA, not to Romania (where the asker is from). eccromania.ro/ask-expert/details/faq-sale-goods-guarantees applies for them, and the exclusion of warranties, whether explicit or implied, does not exclude all of the EU warranties. – Nzall Nov 15 '15 at 20:52
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    I don't know which jurisdiction the asker is querying (regardless of where they are from - I can ask about US law just as surely as I can Australian) but the MIT licence was developed in the USA and so that informs the answer. In any case, they seem to have accepted the answer. – jimsug Nov 15 '15 at 21:05
  • It doesn't matter that the MIT license has been developed in the USA. A license is in essence a contract, and from what I understand, clauses in a contract are only valid insofar as they don't break any regulations from the countries of all the parties in the contract. If a foreign company does not abide to local rules, a judge might find them liable even if their contract does not allow for that. For example, Steam recently added the ability to refund digital purchases after a European judge ruled their "no refunds except under extreme circumstances" policy in violation of EU consumer rights. – Nzall Nov 15 '15 at 22:12
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    The asker did not provide the jurisdiction, and so based on this, I decided to answer using the law that would have informed the creation of the licence - US law. You're certainly most welcome to provide an alternate answer addressing aspects of the licence with regards to Romanian/EU law, as I'm sure many would find it useful :) – jimsug Nov 15 '15 at 22:19
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    @NateKerkhofs I would rephrase "from all the countries of all the parties in the contract" to read "from any court that will accept jurisdiction over the matter and can enforce that jurisdiction." – phoog Nov 16 '15 at 5:45

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