Free Software and Liability

18 May 2023
13:30 - 13:55
Open Corner ESET
Alexander Sander
Senior Policy Consultant
Free Software Foundation Europe

Free Software and Liability

The EU is currently debating the introduction of liability rules for software, including Free Software. The main debate happens around the Cyber Resilience Act. I will therefore discuss the risks and solutions using this Act as an example.

While we welcome the discussion on more cyber security we doubt that the introduction of liability alone will lead to more cyber security. Especially in Free Software, far-reaching security measures are already in place. Those measures differ from those of proprietary software. We, therefore, propose a solution that will lead to more security while safeguarding the Free Software ecosystem:

1.) Liability should be shifted to those deploying Free Software instead of those developing Free Software and
2.) Those who significantly financially benefit from this deployment should make sure the software becomes CE-compliant

In the talk I will explain this proposal in more detail and go into the current state of the debate in Europe.