Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <>
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 08:20:32 -0400

> But what Jonathan advocated, at least in the words he chose, was to
> abandon the idea of limiting liability.

Okay. I'm tired of being beaten up on this topic. Especially when my words
are being twisted.

What I said was "everyone is guilty", not "everyone is liable". Actually, I
was overstating the case, because I'm sure that there are people at
Microsoft who had no impact, either active or passive, on how things
evolved. Those people who had no impact certainly are not guilty of

I was making a statement about who is responsible. My belief structure is
that every person who actively or passively participated in Microsoft's
behavior is responsible for their actions and the consequences of those
actions. This is axiomatic to me. Any other outcome says that there are
circumstances under which people can do harm without having any
responsibility at all. That is a slippery slope we really don't want to go

Also, I did not say that their liability should be unlimited. I merely said
that whatever aggregate liability exists should be apportioned over the
parties responsible. When we discuss liability we are asking who should
*pay*. Since you don't get blood from turnips, the answer has to involve
some entity that has money -- in this case, Microsoft.

However, I would remind everyone that there are many forms of restitution,
and not all are tied to money. Releasing the names of the critical decision
makers in a way that brands their behavior as improper would do wonders;
shame is a powerful force.