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Linux Journal: Why We Still Oppose UCITA

Oct 11, 2002, 03:00 (1 Talkback[s])

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"An attorney for Red Hat recently asked me to join her in requesting that the National Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) reverse their 1999 decision to adopt UCITA, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act.

"I've commented before on UCITA. Readers of this column will recall that UCITA is a model code intended to be adopted by all states, so there is uniformity within software licensing law. UCITA provides default rules that apply when a software license omits essential terms. Another purpose of UCITA is to define what license terms are against public policy and thus cannot be enforced, even if they are included in a license.

"On behalf of the Open Source Initiative, I wrote to the NCCUSL to oppose UCITA. I did so because UCITA does not address yet many of the major concerns of licensors and licensees of open-source software. Even though recent amendments to UCITA have begun to recognize our unique issues, the proposed law remains flawed, incomplete, confusing and biased toward licensors of proprietary software.

"The drafters of UCITA have proposed several amendments to address our issues, but they still struck out with us. Here's what they proposed and why we continue to oppose it..."

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