Subject: Protecting Bad Software
From: Jean Camp <Jean_Camp@harvard.edu>
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 10:45:35 -0400

Despite my hesitancy to confirm the hostility towards lawyers recently
shown here I think the passing of this proposal is quite important. The
greatest power of free software in the market is that it is good. This bill
would limit legal and economic vendor responsibility for bad software.
After Article 2B failed for such ridiculous horrors as "electronic self
help" (see **) the backers of 2B moved the article to NCCUSL. Unfortunately
this stretegy seems to be working. The volunteers and scolars have to
leave. The paid shills of industry can afford to stay around for days and
days and days until only they are left and can vote in the majority.

-Jean


GROUP APPROVES CONTROVERSIAL SOFTWARE LAW
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
(NCCUSL) voted Thursday in favor of the controversial UCITA
proposal that would create common licensing rules for software
and other IT transactions.  The vote does not make UCITA law, but
experts say that most state legislatures adopt laws recommended
by the organization.  Critics say UCITA would rob IT companies
and other software customers of their rights and leave them at
the whim of software vendors.  The law deregulates product
licensing and addresses software, multimedia interactive
products, data and databases, and the Internet and online
information.  It also ** contains provisions to allow vendors to
shut down software remotely if they suspect a violation of the
licensing terms, make shrink-wrapped licensing terms enforceable
even though the buyer will not see the license until after the
software is purchased, ban reverse engineering, and allow vendors
to disclaim warranties.  (InfoWorld Electric 07/29/99)

Jean
PS  I think lawyers are like deomcracy,  terrible but only compared with
other systems.  Certainly many things, including dispute resolution are
easier in European countries which are completely homogenous where compared
with the US. European nations have not dealt with diversity as the US has,
and in fact seem to be now where the US was in about the twenties.  Not a
model of human liberty applicable where everything -- including core
cultural standards -- is up for grabs.