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Hidden warranties in open source software

Licences yet to be tested in court

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Companies using open source software may have more rights than they think. Distributors rarely include warranties in open source licences - but English law might decide otherwise, according to a technology lawyer in Leeds.

Michael Peeters, a partner at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, says warranties as to the performance and even the title to the software could be implied into open source licences by a British court.

"The problem is that these licences have never been tested in court in the UK," he said. "And the first judge to examine an open source licence could take exception to its provisions. If he thinks that, say, the General Public Licence should give users more rights, he'll simply imply them."

Peeters will be speaking this month at a free one hour seminar on the commercial and legal issues of open source software that takes place in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Book a free place here.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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