Gilmore signs UCITA

Virginia on Tuesday became the first state in the nation to officially adopt the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) when Gov. James Gilmore signed the act into law.

UCITA deregulates product licensing and covers software, multimedia interactive products, data and databases, and Internet and online information. It enables 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. (see related story from civic.com)

"By signing this measure into law, Gov. Gilmore again is leading the nation in establishing a legal framework for electronic transactions," Virginia Secretary of Technology Don Upson said in a release. "Businesses and consumer groups alike will benefit from this clear set of legal guidelines."

The act easily passed the state's general assembly during the past legislative session but faced opposition from critics who contend that it limits consumer rights. That opposition, which included some of the state's major employers, lead to delaying implementing UCITA until July 2001, after a committee of user companies and vendors reviews the law.

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