Government Technology: UCITA: Click “I Agree” to Waive Rights

[ 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

“…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


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