Uniform Commercial Code Essay

2828 Words 12 Pages
A new law will probably be introduced into state legislatures which will govern all contracts for the development, sale, licensing, and support of computer software. This law, which has been in development for about ten years, will be an amendment to the Uniform Commercial Code. The amendment is called Article 2B (Law of Licensing) and is loosely based on UCC Article 2 (Law of Sales), which governs sales of goods in all 50 states. A joint committee of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and the American Law Institute is drafting the changes to the UCC.
The UCC was drafted in the 1950's and currently governs the sales of goods but not products like software, which are licensed, not sold. Basically, when
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The Mass-Market License is a standard-form, non-negotiable, license. Companies use standard-form contracts instead of trying to negotiate a separate contract for each buyer, or licensee. The lengthy legal forms that most don't read when installing software are shrink-wrap licenses. These mass-market licenses restrict rights of users. Licenses involve restrictions on the use of intellectual property. They can have nondisclosure provisions, restrictions on how the product is used and who can use it, and restrictions on transfer of the licensed product.
Software companies solely benefit from this where they can not only dictate the terms of the agreement, but they can also avoid consumer defect and privacy protections laws that apply to a sale of goods. An example of a typical shrink-wrap license on-line is as follows:

Attention, Please Read: Installing this software constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions of the license agreement. Other rules and regulations of installing this software are:
1. The product cannot be rented, loaned or leased.
2. The customer shall not disclose the results of any benchmark test to any third party without Network Associates' prior written approval.
3. The customer will not publish reviews of the product without prior written consent from Network Associates.

By loading any software, you may be inadvertently entering into a contract.
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