It’s a long time coming: consumer protection for software. And it’s a
good not altogether bad thing. How much software out there promises the world but delivers nothing but a world of headache? Of course, the devil is in the details and how they go about enforcing that is going to be interesting. Can you imagine the legal copy? Of course, this opens up the world for computer forensics in a big way. We might even get a new show: CSI Brussels, the Bits-n-Bytes version. Ha.
But from an engineering perspective, this kind of move will most certainly sift out the hype from the functional (and create more of a different hype) and all the war around the best technology might abate (while the war between lawyers rage) so that the job can just get done by those actually doing the job and knowing how to do it (which, by this stage will not be many). It also means developers will choose their tools more carefully and with more consideration and be less prone to just adopting the next best thing just because it’s the next best thing. Which, in turn will impact the software tool market (probably negatively though). Who’s going to write code to interact with a service (or even allow interaction) if you got no control over how the other end of your integration works and you could possibly get sued for thrice more than you earned on the job. Imagine the insurance?
Of course, i’m assuming that the implementation of this kind of policies (or others related to it) is well though-out, fair and just 🙂 The evil side to this kind of policy is just too staggering. That’s something for the budding authors (of CSI) out there to write about…