UCITA’s Here – Cover Your Assets

d04a.jpg (7883 bytes)The anti-consumer Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), for a decade more debated than feared, was recently voted into law in Maryland and Virginia. Iowa, Hawaii, Illinois and Oklahoma may be next. UCITA — mantra of the you-break-it/you-buy-it new economy — conveniently relieves software vendors of any responsibility to sell products that work.

Can you defend yourself? UCITA already clobbered the Uniform Commercial Code, which allowed software buyers to inspect prospective purchases and reject defective products. By UCITA rules, all terms of software end-user license agreements and Internet terms of service contracts — called “shrinkwrap” and “click wrap” agreements — can be hidden from the buyer until after the sale, which is final. UCITA allows vendors to unilaterally reject cancellations.

And we’re not just talking word processing. UCITA covers multimedia interactive products, databases and data; Internet information; all software development, documentation, maintenance and support; and all downloadable text or electronic creations such as books, films and music.

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