For example, a developer has developed an app that shares the location of the user to the saved contacts during an emergency on the press of a button. But the app may fail to work due to network problems or any other issue. Can the app developer be held liable for this and can actions be taken against him/her? If yes, then what is the solution for the developer?

  • When you say "network problems", do you mean servers run by the app developer or the internet/phone network which they have no control over.
    – Unfair-Ban
    May 29 at 8:45
  • Can you kindly mention the consequences in both the cases? May 29 at 8:51
  • There can be various reasons for the app failing to perform the required job such as if the user needs to hold the button for 3 seconds and the user holds it for 2.99 seconds. May 29 at 8:53
  • This would entirely depend on the wording of the agreement between the user and the developer. Frankly, it wouldn't take much for the developer to shield themself from any liability. May 29 at 14:45
  • Can you kindly mention some ways for a developer to shield himself/herself from any liability? Actually I am totally new to these stuffs and need help. May 29 at 15:43

The developer is responsible for any damage caused by using their product, unless appropriate diclaimers and limitations on liability are included. This Libre Office license provides such disclaimers in §6-7. Products are generally warranted to be "suitable for a purpose" unless there is a disclaimer that it is provided

on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind, either expressed, implied, or statutory, including, without limitation, warranties that the Covered Software is free of defects, merchantable, fit for a particular purpose or non-infringing

They make no promises. They also say, as a condition for allowing you to use their product, that you agree that they bear no liability

for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character including, without limitation, damages for lost profits, loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses, even if such party shall have been informed of the possibility of such damages.

(Don't just copy their clauses, instead, study how these disclaimers work). As they also say, "Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages", so there may be no legal solution. If you check your contract with the phone network, you will find similar disclaimers that the network may go down and, and you can't sue them because the network went down.

  • so, is a disclaimer enough in my case? May 29 at 15:52
  • If it's written correctly and it's not prohibited by law. Your lawyer would be in a good position to advise you on that.
    – user6726
    May 29 at 17:50
  • When you say "developer", I assume you mean the company that paid for the development of the software, and now profits from selling it, and not the software engineer employee who was paid a monthly wage for his work.
    – gnasher729
    May 29 at 22:20
  • But he/she may be the solo developer @gnasher729 May 30 at 5:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.