Column: IT Organizations Lose Out Under New Law

The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, or UCITA, passed last week, reveals that Big Brother is alive and well and in favor of sucking up to software vendors. It also reveals how great an influence big money lobbying organizations have on our U.S. legislators. The big losers in UCITA are IT organizations.

Once again, the needs of end-users are being overlooked so that high-technology vendors can gain control of how their customers use their software.

The two key pieces of this law that negatively affect IT organizations are that it essentially allows software vendors to disable software remotely at their discretion, and that it requires IT managers to request permission from vendors to transfer a license from one end-user to another.

Clearly, software piracy and dishonest practices have been a big problem for software providers.

But has the trust factor between software vendors and their customers eroded to the point that the vendors believe they have to treat their loyal customers like 4-year-olds?

It's all about money in government, and software and hardware companies have spent millions of dollars using hired guns to lobby state and federal legislators to support their cause -- even if it's bad for their own customers.

Frankly, Linux should now be looking better and better to IT organizations. The reason is that open-source software won't be affected by this legislation.

And, Linux now has a coalition of vendors behind it to address IT needs.

Let's just hope that these Linux-supportive vendors don't turn around and try to force the operating system to become legislated.

Are your software suppliers treating you like a 4-year-old? What do you think about this legislation? Are you going to make your opinion known?

(Write to me at katherine_bull@infoworld.com or see my forum at www.infoworld.com.)

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