posted Aug 09, 2000

Licensing Legislation Said to Imperil Academic Freedom UCITA8/9/2000; 6:16:21 PM 'Imagine that an architecture professor distributes to his distance-education students digitized photographs of the palace at Versailles, warns the students about the images' poor quality -- and then gets hit with a lawsuit from the software company that provided the pictures. 'The company accuses the professor of violating the terms of the license agreement, which prohibits customers from publicly criticizing the product. A judge rules in favor of the company, citing UCITA, a new law that makes ubiquitous software-licensing agreements readily enforceable.'A great comment from a UCITA supporter:'UCITA advocates counter that the criticisms are inaccurate or based on improbable consumer nightmares. "There's a lot of mythology out there," says Mark Plotkin, a Washington lawyer who tells his corporate clients to support the law's passage. 'He says UCITA also benefits consumers because it makes clear what their rights are when they purchase electronic information.'Yeah, sure... you have the right to depend on us for protection is about all the consumer gets. Perhaps there are benefits to UCITA, but in light of the immense powers granted to the vendors, who cares if we were tossed a few carrots?


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