"Last week's Page One article on the Uniform Computer
Information Transactions Act (UCITA) rather nicely summed up some
of the consequences of this piece of legislation. (See "Licensing
time bomb.") UCITA would give vendors the right to repossess
software by disabling it remotely; make the terms of shrink-wrapped
licenses more enforceable; prevent the transfer of licenses from
one party to another without vendor permission; allow vendors to
disclaim warranties; and outlaw reverse-engineering."
"It's that last bit -- the criminalization of
reverse-engineering -- that has some open-source software advocates
in a bit of a panic. They believe it would be nearly impossible to
write things such as hardware drivers for open-source projects if
one could not reverse-engineer existing code with impunity."