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LinuxWorld: Making the grade - We need to protect consumers from lousy software

Apr 25, 2000, 02:43 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by J.S. Kelly)

"The software quality issue isn't the only way that UCITA hurts consumers. According to opponents, UCITA allows software vendors to "repossess" software by disabling it remotely, forbids you from giving away or selling the software you don't need anymore unless you have permission from the vendor, and outlaws reverse engineering. If we could get the "absolute guarantee" issue off the table, maybe we would make more inroads on the rest of these issues."

"There is a well-worn argument against the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) -- and in favor of consumer software rights in general -- that goes, "Software isn't guaranteed by companies the way other consumer goods, like cars, are."

"That is certainly true, and I deplore the fact that there are software companies out there which not only foist schlock on an unwitting public, but call it production-quality software. However, I also can't agree with the general prescription offered to solve the problem. Making all software companies responsible for all defects in all software will invite suits and settlements like of the infamous McDonald's "Warning: coffee is hot" case. (Those who aren't already familiar with UCITA can find relevant information in the Resources section of this article; the facts on the McDonald's case are also there.)"

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