UCITA Gets Slight Modification

SAN MATEO (08/14/2000) - One of the most contentious pieces of the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA), which would allow vendors to remotely disable software on a user's computer if the user was in breach of the software's licensing terms, has been modified.

The change, made at the annual National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, held by the organization that drafted UCITA, eliminates the provision for software sold via retail outlets. It would still apply to applications purchased by corporations, however.

UCITA has drawn the ire of consumer groups that say it infringes on consumers' rights. UCITA also prohibits license transfers, bans reverse engineering, and reinforces the terms of shrink-wrapped licenses.

But the measure's supporters say UCITA will set a national standard for default contract and software licensing rules.

UCITA was introduced in July 1999 to all 50 state legislatures and U.S. territories. Since then, Maryland and Virginia have adopted the law, in spite of user opposition.

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