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InfoWorld: Mid-Atlantic states vie to become the first to enact the controversial UCITA

Mar 07, 2000, 18:47 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ed Foster)

"As we feared, UCITA was passed by the Virginia legislature almost without debate. As one Richmond newspaper reported, Virginia legislators admitted that few had read UCITA and that they were trusting the judgement of the technology commission that studied it. That's the same commission whose study group on UCITA was dominated by representatives of the technology industry and the chairman of the committee who drafted UCITA."

"Even so, the efforts of UCITA's opponents in Virginia were not entirely in vain. While the Virginia General Assembly did pass the bill (Virginia's governor has expressed support for UCITA, so it is assumed he will sign it), the voices raised against it at least made the representatives uncomfortable enough to add a provision that the law is not to go into effect until July 1, 2001. In the meantime, the technology commission is to appoint a new advisory committee to consider possible changes that will allay everyone's concerns."

"But trying to fix UCITA with a couple of amendments is a bit like trying to keep the Titanic from sinking with a roll of Scotch tape. It also remains to be seen whether the new study group will be just as much a stacked deck as the last one. One good sign is that the legislature did specify that the panel should include representatives from the library associations and the insurance companies, the two groups that have led the way in forming 4CITE (the anti-UCITA coalition to which InfoWorld belongs) and in organizing the fight against UCITA in Virginia and other states. A bad sign is that, although technology vendors will of course be included, the General Assembly did not see fit to specify that a consumer group representative should sit on the committee as well."

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