liability [English]

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Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. (liable, adj.) ~ 1. An obligation or responsibility by law, contract, or equity. – 2. A debt or financial obligation.

Other Definitions

  • Black's 9th 2009 (†382 s.v. liability): 1. The quality or state of being legally obligated or accountable; legal responsibility to another or to society, enforceable by civil remedy or criminal punishment. 2. A financial or pecuniary obligation; debt.
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. liability): Something that is a hindrance or puts an individual or group at a disadvantage, or something that someone is responsible for, or something that increases the chance of something occurring (i.e. it is a cause).


  • Classen and McCaw 2012 (†599 p.3): A savvy vendor will resist assuming liability for third party breaches and hacking on the basis that no environment is completely safe and that the customer would be liable for these risks if it were hosting the data in the customer’s own environment. A vendor’s willingness to assume this risk will likely be dependent on a number of factors including whether the customer is using a public or private cloud, the type of services purchased by the customer, i.e., Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), pricing and any limitations of liability set forth in the underlying agreement. IaaS is considered to embody less risk to the customer than SaaS as the customer retains less control with SaaS. Similarly, a public cloud is considered to be inherently more risky than a private cloud given the nature of a shared environment. (†1380)
  • Kirby 2010 (†598 ): Another issue, speakers said, is how liable cloud service providers will be for data breaches. "If we hold cloud service providers liable for everything, that's a great way to kill the cloud," Mr. Nelson (visiting professor, internet studies, Georgetown University) said. Mr. Smith (Microsoft general counsel and senior vice president) agreed: While a "strict liability standard" would be inappropriate, companies don't believe they are "immune from the law," he said, and courts are likely to take a "middle ground." (†1377)
  • Ladley 2012 (†589 p.17): The risks in information means there is a financial liability inherent in all data or content that is based on regulatory and ethical misuse or mismanagement. (†1195)
  • Law 2011 (†581 s.v. liability): A debt that has no claim on a debtor's assets, or less claim than another debt. (†1125)