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UCITA: "Shrink-wrap" license agreements

A News.com reader writes that UCITA is terribly lopsided in favoring businesses--"those who own the government"--to the painful detriment of consumers.

 

  
UCITA: "Shrink-wrap" license agreements

In response to the Nov. 16 column by Robert Hahn, "New rules for the digital economy:"

While it is painfully obvious that current laws do not do a very good job of meeting the needs of businesses or consumers, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) is definitely not a "win-win" proposition. In fact, it is terribly lopsided in favoring businesses--"those who own the government"--to the painful detriment of consumers.

Let's just look at one example that makes this painfully clear: UCITA codifies "shrink-wrap" license agreements. A software package may state: "By opening this package, you agree to be bound by the legal terms contained within". In other words, by the time you have determined what you agreed to, it is too late to back out of the agreement.

It is almost true that "a new uniform state statute that standardizes commercial rules for software and computer-information products would reduce business uncertainty by giving high-tech firms a fair, stable and predictable set of rules by which to operate." Unfortunately, those rules can be summarized as follows:

1. The corporation has unlimited rights.

2. The individual has no rights.

Apparently, Robert Hahn knows who "butters his bread."

Richard Burmeister
Fairfield, Iowa