Defeat passage of UCITA in the states, support passage of anti-UCITA bomb-shelter bills, and advance an alternative proposal for Non-Negotiable Terms and Conditions in the Sale or Transfer of Computer Software and other Digital Works.
In Feb. 2000, the IEEE-USA Board of Directors adopted a position statement Opposing Adoption of the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA) By the States.
On 9 Aug 2002, IEEE-USA released a statement confirming that IEEE-USA continues to oppose UCITA despite amendments adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) at their annual meeting.
In support of our anti-UCITA position, IEEE-USA has issued the following policy communications:
Modified UCITA laws have been adopted in Maryland and Virginia with amendments (including changes proposed or endorsed by IEEE-USA). During 2001-2002, UCITA bills were introduced in several states but no action was taken. UCITA bomb-shelter bills have been adopted in Iowa, North Carolina and West Virginia. In Nov. 2001, the NCCUSL UCITA Stand-By Committee meet to consider amendments to UCITA intended to make it more acceptable to the states. Those amendments have generated controversy and are pending approval by NCCUSL at its annual meeting in August 2002. In January 2002, the American Bar Association's Working Group on UCITA released a report calling for significant modifications to UCITA. A coalition of 32 State Attorney's General continue to oppose UCITA.
During its annual meeting in August 2002, NCCUSL approved a series of amendments to the model UCITA law, reflecting changes already adopted in Maryland and Virginia. Among the amendments, state consumer protection laws would take priority over UCITA; reverse engineering for interoperability is specifically recognized as legitimate, and a general exemption is offered for open source software. A petition was circulated among NCCUSL commissioners that would have dropped UCITA from "uniform" law to "model" law status, but it did not come to a final vote. The AFFECT Coalition remains opposed to UCITA as amended, and spokespersons for the American Bar Association note that ABA continues to have problems with the model law...more.
During the 2003 legislative session, UCITA was introduced in Oklahoma but tabled in committee. UCITA was introduced by Washington, DC Mayor Anthony Williams last year, but has seen no action by the DC Council. UCITA sponsors may introduce legislation in Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Utah. Bomb-shelter legislation is being considered in Massachusetts and explored in Minnesota. For current legislative status, see the American Library Association's UCITA State by State update.
IEEE-USA does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in these resources, but provides them for the information of our members:
How You Can Help
Educate yourself on the issues and legislation. Communicate your views to your state senators or representatives through visits or letters.
Last Updated: 29 September 2011
Permission to copy granted for non-commercial uses with appropriate attribution.