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UCITA facts

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Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

UCITA Fact Sheet

What is UCITA?

UCITA is the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, and was developed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). UCITA is very similar to a previous proposal, UCC2B, which was abandoned due to widespread opposition.

UCITA is a contract law statute that would apply to computer software, multimedia products, computer data and databases, online information, and other such products. It was designed to create a uniform commercial contract law for these products and calls itself "a cyberspace commercial statute." It covers contracts that are generally known as "shrink-wrap licenses."

Why UCITA is Bad?

  • UCITA allows software publishers to change the terms of the contract after purchase.
  • UCITA allows restrictions that prohibit users from criticizing or publicly commenting on software they purchased.
  • UCITA allows software and information products to contain "back door" entrances, potentially making users' systems vulnerable to infiltration by unauthorized hackers.
  • UCITA allows software publishers to sell their products "as is" and to disclaim liability for product shortcomings.

Who opposes UCITA?

Opponents argue that UCITA gives software manufacturers and information services an unfair advantage and leaves consumers with very little recourse when they find themselves with bad software. Opponents include:
  • 26 State Attorneys General (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia (Administrator of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act), Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Consumers Union
  • Society for Information Management
  • American Libraries Association
  • Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT)

How Does UCITA Affect Consumers?

Many of the opponents of UCITA are very concerned that UCITA would have a very negative affect on consumers, giving them less protection than current laws against poorly designed software.

What Can I Do?

AFFECT and the American Libraries Association are the two most effective and active groups opposing UCITA.  They support specific action at and  An example of how CPSR has participated in anti-UCITA legislation can be found at

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This page last updated April 10th by Lawrence Hecht 
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Created before October 2004

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