Re: Something needs to be done to protect consumers
I would agree that if you write and publish some source code, then someone who chooses to use your source (rather than write their own) and include it in a product sold to 'the public' owns the liability for the product.
If they choose to give away the resulting product, then they should have no liability for errors in the product. It was free, they gained no revenue from it. Folk who use that product use it at their own risk.
So llvm, for example, used as is, should not impose liability on the authors (even if they sell tee-shirts and mugs) even if it generates stupendously evil code
The Linux authors are also exempt from liability, even if there's no inter-process protection or the file systems does horrible things to disk drives.
Fred's OK Software Company, however, who sell a data base or a financial package or whatever should be liable for damage arising from the use of their product. Since the product uses Linux to perform some tasks, Fred is liable even for errors in Linux that cause his software to misfunction. He's also liable for such misfunction caused by errors in llvm. And its libraries.
Similarly, Ford is liable for misfunction caused by (I make this up) the steel alloy they use to construct vehicles being out of spec. In general the vendor of the product, should be liable for any and all misfunctions that are attributed to the thing you're selling. True, perhaps the supplier who sold you the imperfect steel needs to make good that problem; but that should be an issue between Ford and the supplier.
When you build a software product on top of or through the use of free (in the "it costs no dollars" sense) then you can't go sue the providers. They're not in business; they **published** the source; you're the one who chose to use it.