Virginia ground zero in vendor war
Virginia is ground zero for a high-stakes political battle against a controversial
law — the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) — that's
pitting users against software vendors.
UCITA would deregulate product licensing and covers software, multimedia
interactive products, data and databases, and Internet and online information.
It further allows vendors to disable software remotely as a means of repossessing
products; makes shrink-wrap licensing terms more enforceable; prevents license
transfers from one party to another without vendor approval; outlaws reverse
engineering; and lets vendors disclaim warranties.
Virginia's legislature is on the verge of sending UCITA to the governor
for his expected signature. It may be the first state to adopt the measure
as part of move to make the state attractive to high-tech businesses.
But many of Virginia's major employers are involved in a lobbying counterattack,
winning one important legislative concessions: Delaying implementing UCITA
until July 2001, after a committee of user companies and vendors reviews
The National Conference of Commissions on Uniform State Laws adopted UCITA
in July. The conference recommends commercial code law and sends it to the
50 states for their adoption. Only a handful of states have introduced the