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. Second Letter from American Committee for Interoperable Systems (ACIS) to NCCUSL Opposing UCITA

June 21, 1999

 

Mr. Gene N. Lebrun
National Conference of Commissioners
     on Uniform State Laws
900 St. Joseph Street, 9th Fl.
Rapid City, SD 57709

 

Re: Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act

 

Dear Mr. Lebrun:

I am writing to you in my role as Chairman of the American Committee for Interoperable Systems (ACIS) to comment on the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). ACIS is a voluntary association of more than 30 corporations and organizations concerned with the future of the computer and communications industry. Members include: Advanced Micro Devices; Amdahl Corporation; Bull HN Information Systems Inc.; NCR Corporation; Seagate Technology Corporation; Storage Technology Corporation; Sun Microsystems, Inc; and 3Com Corporation, among others. ACIS has enjoyed working with the drafting committee on this matter for the past several years, and appreciates the changes which have been made to the draft in response to concerns that its members have raised. However, for the reasons set forth below, it would be better to recast the UCITA draft as a model law than to promulgate it as a uniform law.

The drafting process for Uniform Commercial Code Article 2(B), while Herculean in its attempt to accommodate the concerns of all interested parties, was marked by a sharp lack of consensus among many of the stakeholders. While the UCITA process is useful as a way to steer around some of the more difficult hurdles which presented themselves in the UCC2B process, the fundamental issues which gave rise to those hurdles remain embedded in the UCITA draft. With that in mind, it seems more appropriate to recast UCITA as a model law in order to give the states an opportunity to determine for themselves how to resolve these contentious issues. As our economy becomes increasingly information based, UCITA will apply to an ever growing proportion of routine transactions. The states should have the flexibility to allocate rights and responsibilities in this expanding and evolving area as they see fit.

Despite our reservations on the promulgation of UCITA as a uniform law, we welcome the changes to the official comments to Section 105, which now make specific reference to the reverse engineering language contained in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The inclusion of this language, along with the adoption of the motion put forward last year by Commissioner Harvey Perlman, have to a degree moderated our concern that UCITA (and UCC2B before it) would lead to a disruption of important principles of intellectual property law by rendering enforceable non-negotiated, mass-market license terms which prohibit reverse engineering. The enforceability of such terms would be a major impediment to the goals of achieving interoperability and promoting open systems. Nonetheless, we remain disappointed that more specific language on this issue has not been included in the "black letter" of the draft.

In conclusion, ACIS recommends that UCITA be recast as a model law rather than promulgated as a uniform statute. Thank you for your consideration of these points.

 

Sincerely,

 

Peter M. C. Choy
Chairman

 

cc: All Commissioners


UCITA Pages On
James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door

UCITA: Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act 
(This is the primary UCITA page.)
 
Home Box Office
Memo Spring 1998 (?)
 
45 Professors of Contracts and Commercial Law Letter 16.Jul.1999
 
Motion Picture Association of America Letter 10.Sep.1998
 
50 Intellectual Property Law Professors Letter 17.Nov.1998
 
Motion Picture Association of America Letter 09.Nov.1998
 
American Bar Association Letter 10.Jun.1999 
 
Motion Picture Association of America Letter 07.Dec.1998
 
American Committee on Interoperable Systems Letter 13.Jul.1998
 
Motion Picture Association of America Letter 10.May.1999
 
American Committee on Interoperable Systems Letter 07.Oct.1998
 
Movie, Publishing and Broadcasting Industry Letter 10.Sep.1999
 
American Committee on Interoperable Systems Letter 21.Jun.1999
 
National Music Publishers Association Letter 21.Jan.1999
 
American Committee on Interoperable Systems email 15.Jul.1999
 

Opposition Summary 
 
American Law Institute Letter 26.Mar.1999
 
 
Pamela Samuelson Letter 09.Jul.1999
 
Association of the Bar of the City of New York Report 21.Jun.1999
 
Principal Financial - Introduction to UCITA
 
 
Attorneys General Letter 23.Jul.1999
 
Principal Financial - Summary of UCITA
 
 
Attorneys General Letter 28.Jul.1999
 
Recording Industry Association of America Letter 09.Oct.1998
 

Attorneys General Letter 23.Jul.1999 
 
 
Sample Letter 


Caterpillar Statement 1999
 
 
Security Mutual Insurance Letter 26.May.1999
 

Consumer Groups Letter 10.Nov.1998 
 
Society for Information Management Letter 23.Mar.1998
 
 
Consumers Union Letter 08.Oct.1998
 
 
Society for Information Management Letter 08.Oct.1998
 
 
Consumers Union Letter 21.Jun.1999
 
Software engineering Institute Letter 01.Jun.1999
 
Digital Future Coalition Letter 23.Jun.1999
 
 
swtest-discuss Letter 20.Nov.1998
 

Digital Future Coalition Page Fall 1999
 


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