Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Government Technology: UCITA: Click "I Agree" to Waive Rights

May 05, 2000, 20:43 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Marcotte)

[ Thanks to phil for this link. ]

"If you can judge a bill by its opponents, UCITA is a mighty piece of legislation. Consumers Union, the Consumer Project on Technology, 25 state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission are a small part of a long list of organizations that have criticized the bill. They are joined by Prudential Life, Principal Financial Group and Caterpillar Inc., who oppose UCITA not as representatives from the insurance, financial and manufacturing industries, but as large-scale software consumers. And few industries license more shrink-wrap software than the government."

"...the rights it grants consumers are far outweighed by the powers it gives software publishers, critics say. "The entire act is fundamentally biased in favor of large software publishers and against the consumer," said Vergil Bushnell, e-commerce policy analyst for the Consumer Project on Technology. "Under UCITA, the software publisher is granting you, the consumer, a license to use the product. It's not a sale; it's a license. By defining the sale as a license, the software publisher can include a number of restrictive terms on how you use the product, [whether] you can criticize the product or if you can transfer the product and a number of other restrictions."

"UCITA takes computer information outside the scope of very important state and federal consumer protection laws," Bushnell said. "[Lobbyist have been] able to sell their pro-UCITA views to the legislators based on the illusionary promise, 'If you're the state that first passes UCITA, there will be some sort of connection with e-commerce firms like ours moving into your state.'" Bushnell said he doubted that such a connection exists."

Complete Story

Related Stories: