(Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) A controversial law that deals with software contracts and licensing drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). UCITA is designed to favor the software publishers, because it enforces the license agreements and assumptions created by their attorneys. For example, the notion that software is licensed rather than purchased is a major tenet upheld in UCITA. Among other things, it enables the publisher to remotely shut down the customer's application without a court order, to prohibit a customer from transferring ownership of the software to another party and to stipulate under what jurisdiction legal disputes will be resolved.
Initially drafted as Article 2B, an amendment to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), the NCCUSL turned it into a non-UCC recommendation and adopted it as a proposed uniform act in 1999. UCITA passed quickly in Maryland and Virginia in 2000 and remains the law in those states. But opposition organized just as rapidly, and bowing to intense consumer and industry pressure by August of 2003, the NCCUSL withdrew its campaign for legislative passage in the remaining 48 states. Despite this lack of official sponsor support, many vendors and buyers of software still believe that a uniform licensing law is needed. Stay tuned!