An anonymous reader writes "Bill Thompson, a regular commentator on the BBC World Service programme Go Digital, criticizes current software licenses (including the GPL) for giving developers 'freedom from responsibility which would be considered wholly unacceptable in almost any other sphere of activity, public or private'." From the article: "A friend of mine is a children's writer. When she writes a non-fiction book she is typically asked to sign a contract that indemnifies the publisher against legal costs resulting from errors of fact in the book. If she was to suggest a school experiment that involved drinking sulphuric acid, because she'd confused it with acetic, then she'd be in big trouble. Yet I can't do anything when a company produces software that exposes my online banking details to any script kiddie with time to spare, because I've agreed a license that removes such liability. "