Fun_People Archive
6 May
UCC-2B - Shrinkwrap Worries

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed,  6 May 98 23:17:04 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: UCC-2B - Shrinkwrap Worries

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Forwarded-by: "Ford Prefect" <>
Forwarded-by: Bart Dorsey <>
Forwarded-by: Richard Stallman <>

[The GNU project is re-posting this message because we oppose the planned
anti-user changes in the Uniform Commercial Code.  Please forward this to
other newsgroups and mailing lists, where appropriate.]

From: "Matt Samsonoff" <>
Subject: Freedom for software consumers.


Your organization supports the freedom of programmers to write programs,
but what about freedom for software consumers?

The Uniform Commercial Code Article 2B, which has been in the drafting stage
for several years, gives software companies the ability to screw over their
customers. The current UCC prevents companies from taking consumer rights
away in the fine print of contracts but article 2B will allow them to write
anything they want into the contract.. and they will be able to enforce it.
Software companies will take away as many consumer rights as they can.

Here's a brief list of items that publishers will be able to put in their
licenses (this list is taken from Cem Kaner's web site,

 - Prohibition against publishing detailed criticisms of the software.
 - Prohibition against reverse engineering.
 - Prohibition against decompiling the software.
 - Prohibition (via the ban of reverse engineering) against developing
   products that are interoperable with this one.
 - Restrictions on the nature or purposes of use of the product.
 - Restrictions against competition.
 - Publisher has choice of law (entirely unrestricted to whatever state or
   country the publisher chooses)
 - Publisher has choice of forum (the publisher can choose that you have to
   sue them in Nigeria).

Cem Kaner has a web site with several papers that he has written on the

ZDNet has written a few articles on this subject:

Article 2B is a threat to anyone who uses a computer. I just wanted to make
sure your organization is aware of it.


  Matt Samsonoff          
  Blue Lobster Software   
              Bart Dorsey -
The only thing I'd rather own than Windows is English or
Chinese or Spanish, because then I could charge a $249 right
to speak English. And I could charge you an upgrade fee
when I add new letters like N and T.

                       --  SCOTT McNEALY, CEO, Sun Microsystems

prev [=] prev © 1998 Peter Langston []