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Friday, October 03, 2003

California's Legal Swiss Army Knife Sprouts A New Blade, Takes A Swipe At Microsoft

I keep having these wonderful "small world" moments courtesy of J. Craig Williams. This time, he has news of what sounds like a fascinating lawsuit filed by a local lawyer I know from way back, Dana Taschner. Dana is suing Microsoft under—hey! there's that statute again—California Business and Professions Code Section 17200. The suit is a representative action, brought by an individual on behalf of the general public, seeking damages and forced security improvements as the result of an identity theft alleged to have been caused by Microsoft OS issues. Declan McCullagh recently reported on the difficulties in pursuing products liability claims related to software problems. ("A legal fix for software flaws?") Dana's lawsuit tries a different approach, and thus could break new ground in this area.

Craig posits a defense that would liken software to firearms, which is both insightful and, in my twisted little brain, funny. (I can just see the t-shirt: Windows Doesn't Kill People, 2600 K1Ll5 p30PlE.)

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