September 15, 2000
Mary Alice Baish
Mark your calendars now for the Satellite Teleconference on UCITA!
Acting Washington Affairs Representative
December 13, 2000, 1-4 p.m. EST
AALL, ALA, ARL, MLA and SLA are cosponsoring an important and timely teleconference on the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) that will be held on December 13, 2000. The purposes of the teleconference are to provide you with a "primer" on UCITA and its implications for your library, as well as strategies for opposing this legislation in your state. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A.
UCITA is a proposed uniform law that, among other things, validates terms in "shrink-wrap" and "click&-on" licenses that restrict uses by libraries that are allowed under federal copyright law. UCITA tilts the balance heavily in favor of software developers and vendors at the expense of consumers, including libraries. Its provisions will have a negative impact on the ability of libraries to fulfill their mission in serving the public in the digital age, and will require the expenditure of additional substantial sums of money in order to comply with its provisions.
UCITA has been enacted in Maryland and Virginia, although we continue to negotiate possible amendments to the Virginia bill, which does not become effective until July 2001. However, we expect to see UCITA introduced in as many as twenty states early next year so it is very important that you take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about UCITA and how to engage in advocacy efforts if it comes to your state.
The following four panelists for the teleconference, having all led efforts against UCITA in their own states, will share their knowledge, expertise, and unique lobbying experiences:
- James Neal (Dean of University Libraries, Johns Hopkins University);
- Rodney Petersen (Director, Policy and Planning, Office of Information Technology at the University of Maryland);
- Cathy Wojewodzki (Librarian, Reference Department, University of Delaware Library and former member of the Delaware legislature); and
- Sally Wiant (Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University).
Information about the costs of site registration for the satellite teleconference, as well as an online site registration form, are now available at: http://www.arl.org/ucita.html