View Full Version : UCITA-Your Tax Dollars at Work

Paleo Pete
12-17-2000, 01:19 AM
The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) was passed this year in Virginia and Maryland, and will be making the rounds of most state legislatures in the near future. The links included here are just a couple I found after stumbling onto this story while in search of other info.

This act will allow software companies to:

Force users into licensing agreements they cannot even see until AFTER opening the package, ie the notice on some CD envelopes stating that by opening the envelope you agree to the license, which is inside it...
Make it illegal for users to transfer software in any way if it is unused, such as reselling or even giving it away as a gift...
Fail to be held responsible for damages their software may cause, or even make sure their software meets their advertising claims...
Electronically disable, remove or prevent use of software remotely, creating serious security risks and interrupting services and operations
Waive liability for known defects in their software that they failed to disclose to their customers...

The list goes on. I thought many of you might already be aware of the UCITA, but in case you are not aware of it or familiar with it, Here are some links with info. It makes for some pretty heavy reading, but now that two states have actually passed it, we'll have a long hard fight to keep it from becoming the norm in every state, they'll all want to jump on the bandwagon.

And of course, this act is supported by Microsoft, Network Associates, AOL, etc...all the heavy hitters of the software industry who would love to be able to produce crummier-that-ever software at our expense, and charge even more for it, without the slightest fear of legal repercussions.

Jean Braucher (http://www.4cite.org/braucher.html) professor of Law, University of Arizona. Long article, with very good rundown of all the shortcomings of this act, from mostly the consumer's point of view.
AFFECT (http://www.4cite.org/) Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions. The Braucher essay was linked from their homepage.
CPT (http://www.cptech.org/ecom/ucita/) Another good resource of info, don't ask me what the anagram stands for http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
anti-UCITA Resource Page (http://cag.lcs.mit.edu/~cananian/UCITA/) More info, and links, some of the links, of course will be repeated from other pages.
BadSoftware (http://www.badsoftware.com/) Yet more...
Attorneys General (http://www.arl.org/info/frn/copy/agoppltr.html) letter signed by over 25 Attorney Generals in opposition to this act.
Infoworld (http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayStory.pl?/features/990531ucita_home.htm) Has a sample letter users can copy to send to their congressmen, and links to more info.

OK, I think that should keep everyone busy for a few days http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

After reading up on this issue for a couple of hours, I think it looks pretty bad for us, the people who have everything to lose if this act becomes law, and the software companies have everything to gain. Copy that letter, or a good version of it, and send it to your Governor or congressman soon!

Soon as I come up with all the answers...they change the questions!!

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

12-17-2000, 05:28 PM
wow Pete.. were we all sleeping when this occured ??

lol...so I cant spell...

[This message has been edited by Paleo Pete (edited 12-17-2000).]

Paleo Pete
12-17-2000, 06:09 PM
Well, you were sleeping when I posted it...probably just not paying attention when it actually occurred, which has been in progress for at least 3 years. It's just been this year that it has actually been brought up and passed in a state legislature, and now that it's happened, many will want to jump on the bandwagon. Also most states usually give the stamp of approval to anything suggested by the National Council of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL).

So it makes things look pretty scary for us, the folks who stand to lose in the deal. Many states might simply pass it on the recommendation of NCCUSL alone, without an in-depth review of its affect on the consumer, which is very detrimental.

By the way, I removed your quote to shorten the page. Please use the Post Reply link below the posts instead of the Reply With Quote at the top of an individual post. I'm posting this in a couple of places so you'll be sure to see it, don't get upset about the repeat, I just want to let you know so we can shorten some of these really long topics.


Soon as I come up with all the answers...they change the questions!!

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

[This message has been edited by Paleo Pete (edited 12-17-2000).]

12-18-2000, 09:12 PM
Well boys what do we expect from a government that can't even agree on the meaning of is?

What if all of just refused to buy Windows ME?

Linux is starting to look better and better, how can an OS based on an open format really be controlled in this manner by one company or group?

What's next not being allowed to read any contracts before signing them?

I just can't seem to think of anything intersting to put here!