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Institute for Legal Questions on Free and Open Source Software

Is the normal exclusion of liability and warranties in open-source licenses effective in Germany?

No.  According to German law, the regulations are invalid since complete exclusion of liability and warranty is impermissible according to German law governing terms and conditions of trade.  The regulations exist because many developers would not accept clauses that do not contain the wording of a complete exclusion of liability.  In addition, such an exclusion can be valid in other countries, and the exclusion is therefore relevant given the international use of open-source software.  In Germany, the applicable statutory liability regulations apply (→ What is the legal standard for liability and warranty in Germany?).
 
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