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The Washington Post: States Weigh New Rules [UCITA] for E-Commerce

Feb 14, 2000, 01:33 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Mosk, Craig Timberg)

"Maryland and Virginia are racing to become the first states in the nation to approve new rules governing electronic commerce, despite growing fears among legal experts that the laws could strip away several basic consumer protections...."

"The push is the start of a national effort by a number of leading software manufacturers to get states to make legally binding the terms companies set on the use of their products--even though most consumers would not know what those conditions are until after they had spent their money and read the fine print. Given the ease with which software can be copied or change hands, many companies attempt to restrict how their programs are used once they have been sold."

"The proposed set of rules, called the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), would allow companies to reach into a customer's computer and "repossess" a product if the purchaser had fallen behind on payments. And the law would permit them to send legal notices about new restrictions by e-mail without any proof that the e-mail had reached its destination."

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