AIA Calls UCITA Defeat in Okla. a ‘Victory for Insurers’

February 25, 2003

The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), a bill that formalizes the law for licensing of computer information products, was defeated in the Oklahoma Senate Appropriations Committee, and the American Insurance Association (AIA) thinks that’s a good thing.

“This is a big victory for insurers,” said John Marlow, AIA assistant vice president, southwest region. “UCITA fundamentally upsets a longstanding balance between the rights of both the sellers and consumers of computer information products. UCITA grants unprecedented control to licensors of digital and computer information products while superseding numerous fundamental public protections – materially and adversely affecting businesses and consumers alike.”

UCITA was originally drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and the American Law Institute but was eventually adopted and supported by the NCCUSL as a standalone model act. Many states have introduced but failed to pass similar legislation with the exception of Virginia and Maryland.

“If this legislation had passed, the business of insurance would in essence have been regulated by software vendors in areas such as embedded self-help ‘time bombs’, post-sale warranty disclaimers, and would have allowed for circumvention of established intellectual property principles and case law,” Marlow said.

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