… asks Larry Rosen on the mailinglist of the Open Source Initiative and answers:
Of course we disclaim most warranties and liability in our licenses. Why should we willingly accept potential liability when we give our software away for free? Despite what our licenses say, however, we are subject to local laws relating to gross negligence and fraud. As a matter of public policy in many civilized jurisdictions, we can’t recklessly distribute damaging software to consumers and expect to get away with it.
So we should treat free software businesses as real businesses. Behave professionally and ethically in all our intellectual property transactions. The chances of being sued when we do that are slim to none. But it is wise
to put some money into your bank account just in case you need to hire a lawyer to answer all your questions.
In Germany, you are always reliable for the software you are selling to your customers.
If you really need to go to a lawyer, you should know what you want or need before you go there. Your lawyer is only as good as you are self-aware of your case.
The best thing you can do, is not to do any businesses with customers you sense that they act strange, overdemanding, insidious. If you do not feel good, don’t do it. Well, often you cannot afford sending away customers, then make sure you have enough money on your bank account, just as Larry Rosen proposes.