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InfoWorld: States shouldn't be so sure that passing UCITA will bring them jobs and talent

Mar 12, 2000, 23:59 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ed Foster)

"State legislators who enact the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA) in the belief that it will bring high-tech jobs to their constituents may be in for a big disappointment. The results may be just the opposite."

"The premise the software industry lobby has been using to encourage Virginia and Maryland to enact UCITA quickly is that the law's endorsement of shrinkwrap/clickwrap license terms will have high-tech firms flocking to relocate their operations there. On the surface, one might think that would be true, considering how eagerly the Microsofts and AOLs are backing it, but there are a number of reasons why UCITA is unlikely to bring any benefit to states that adopt it early."

"UCITA may well wind up encouraging some of the high-tech talent that an early-adopting state already has to leave. Why? High-tech professionals themselves dislike it intensely. The two most prestigious organizations representing the engineering/programmer community -- the IEEE and Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) -- are opposed to UCITA. Many other organizations representing software industry professionals have also spoken out against UCITA, including the Software Engineering Institute, the American Society for Quality, and the Free Software Foundation. That such groups oppose UCITA is a fact that has always been ignored by those who drafted the law, and so far it sounds as if it's also being ignored by the state legislatures that have UCITA on a fast track."

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