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

“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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