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INFO/UCITA: UCITA Fails to Receive ABA Approval

Of possible interest to many liblicense-l readers...

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ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 12, Number 14
February 11, 2003

In This Issue: UCITA fails to receive American Bar Association

On February 10, 2003, a resolution recommending approval of UCITA (the
Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) by the American Bar
Association (ABA) House of Delegates was withdrawn by the National
Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), the body
responsible for drafting UCITA. The ABA delegates were asked to vote on a
resolution approving UCITA's readiness for consideration by state
legislatures. A positive ABA vote is a customary step in the process of
successfully passing proposed uniform laws such as UCITA.

The withdrawal of the UCITA resolution followed in the wake of increasing
opposition to this controversial act within the ABA.  Prior to the opening
of the ABA Midyear Meeting in Seattle this weekend, UCITA failed to garner
support from six ABA sections, including the Business Law, Intellectual
Property, Litigation, Torts and Insurance Practice and Science and
Technology sections. In addition, two committees , the Section Officers'
Council's Technology Committee and the ABA Standing Committee on Law and
National Security failed to support passage of the resolution. Seven of
the nine members of the ABA Working Group appointed to review UCITA in
2001advised the House of Delegates that recent amendments to UCITA still
did not make UCITA appropriate for approval at this time.

The withdrawal of the resolution indicates that UCITA lacks the consensus
and support needed for successful passage of a uniform state law.
Currently, UCITA is an active bill in Oklahoma.

ALA joined with the Association of Research Libraries, the American
Association of Law Libraries, the Special Libraries Association, the
Medical Libraries Association, the Art Libraries Society of North American
and the Association of American Universities in sending a joint letter to
all of the House of Delegates members last week.  
(http://www.ala.org/washoff/ucita/ABAltr0203.pdf) The library associations
were founding members of AFFECT, Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce
Transactions, the national coalition of businesses, financial
institutions, consumer advocates and technology professionals that has
been the leading force in opposing UCITA.

For more information contact Carol Ashworth, ALA UCITA Grassroots
Coordinator cashworth@alawash.org www.ala.org/washoff/ucita.html

ALAWON (ISSN 1069-7799) is a free, irregular publication of the
American Library Association Washington Office. All materials subject to
copyright by the American Library Association may be reprinted or
redistributed for noncommercial purposes with appropriate credits.

ALA Washington Office, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 403,
Washington, D.C. 20004-1701; phone: 202.628.8410 or 800.941.8478
toll-free; fax: 202.628.8419; e-mail: alawash@alawash.org; Web site:
http://www.ala.org/washoff.  Executive Director: Emily Sheketoff.
Office of Government Relations: Lynne Bradley, Director; Camille Bowman,
Mary Costabile, Don Essex, Patrice McDermott and Miriam Nisbet. Office
for Information Technology Policy: Rick Weingarten, Director; Jennifer
Hendrix, Carrie Russell, Claudette Tennant. ALAWON Editor: Bernadette