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Caterpillar Opposes
Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act

On July 29, 1999, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) approved for individual state consideration the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), which is proffered to provide a uniform law for software and other computer information contracts. Caterpillar opposes enactment of UCITA.

Background
NCCUSL consists of a body of state appointed commissioners from each of the United States. NCCUSL's purpose is to promote uniformity in state law and is tasked with the responsibility of determining which areas of the law would benefit from uniformity, and then drafting and recommending the drafted uniform laws to state legislatures for enactment. The most well known uniform act is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The task of drafting such uniform laws is accomplished by a drafting committee established by NCCUSL.

UCITA was originally being proposed as a new article to the UCC and was formerly referred to as UCC Article 2B (UCC 2B). The effort to pass this uniform computer law act as a new article to the UCC failed however because of a controversy raised over the proposed act's unbalance and lack of fairness to software users. Instead of letting UCC 2B simply die, its drafting committee recast UCC 2B as a stand-alone act and renamed it as UCITA.

In the drafting process for UCC 2B, attendance at the open drafting committee meetings was dominated in large part by mass-market software publishers (i.e., Microsoft) that showed no interest in substantive balance of the act for users. As a result, UCITA, as drafted, falls well short of being acceptable to both sides of the transactions that such rules are intended to govern. Some of the problems are as follows:

    Software publishers can shut down user software remotely without court approval Software publishers can prohibit the transfer of its shrink and click-wrap software license from one company to another (during a merger or acquisition) Unlimited disclaimers of warranty will absolve publishers from damages for defective software even when the publisher concealed defects that might harm the business Software acquired by employees without authorization will end up binding a corporation Click through terms in the software will overwrite those of a fully negotiated contract between the software publisher and the corporation and Allows publishers to write their own intellectual property law and circumvent well established intellectual property principles and statutes

Caterpillar urges other corporate software users to join us in our effort of opposing enactment of UCITA by the states.

If interested, please contact

Gordon Pence, IP Counsel
Caterpillar Inc.
100 N.e. Adams Street
Peoria, IL 61629-6490

Ph. 309-675-4460;
Fax. 309-675-1236;
e-mail: ogpence@cat.com


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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