UCITA

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UCITA

(Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) A controversial law that deals with software contracts and licensing drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). UCITA is designed to favor the software publishers, because it enforces the license agreements and assumptions created by their attorneys. For example, the notion that software is licensed rather than purchased is a major tenet upheld in UCITA. Among other things, it enables the publisher to remotely shut down the customer's application without a court order, to prohibit a customer from transferring ownership of the software to another party and to stipulate under what jurisdiction legal disputes will be resolved.

Article 2B
Initially drafted as Article 2B, an amendment to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), the NCCUSL turned it into a non-UCC recommendation and adopted it as a proposed uniform act in 1999. UCITA passed quickly in Maryland and Virginia in 2000 and remains the law in those states. But opposition organized just as rapidly, and bowing to intense consumer and industry pressure by August of 2003, the NCCUSL withdrew its campaign for legislative passage in the remaining 48 states. Despite this lack of official sponsor support, many vendors and buyers of software still believe that a uniform licensing law is needed. Stay tuned!
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Eventually, drafters focused on a standalone Article, and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and American Law Institute (ALI) worked for a number of years on a new Article 2B that would be incorporated into the UCC.
1) The consensus for the need for a uniform law for software contracting that ostensibly existed at the time of the UCC Article 2B effort may have eroded over time as technology advanced, contracts became more sophisticated, and courts addressed disputes over agreements involving software under either common law contract or the UCC.
Originally known as proposed Article 2B, the drafters revised the Act, although much of the terminology remains the same.
NCCUSL and the American Law Institute began drafting UCC Article 2B several years ago.
3) In all other cases, the contract is governed by the law of the jurisdiction with the most significant relationship to the transaction, (UCC Article 2B [sections] 2B-107)
Article 2B uses this standard for electronic and Internet transactions.
Foster has been prolific in his coverage of UCITA, formerly known as UCC Article 2B, having written about it for nearly four years.
10) During the drafting process, however, Article 2B came under heavy criticism from consumer groups, writer and artist organizations, industry groups, academics, and even members of the drafting committee itself.