Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Citation

52 Federal Communications Law Journal 99 (1999)


Several problems plague typical mass-market software licensing agreement, specifically that the public is powerless to negotiate and the terms often are perceived as exceedingly broad and restrictive. The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act is designed to remedy those problems and establish the general enforceability of such agreements, with certain qualifications related to unconscionability, assent, and other caveats. UCITA, however, does not resolve, or even purport to resolve, the tension between federal copyright law and state contract law. This Note analyzes UCITA's attempt to resolve the enforceability issue; argues for an approach to preemption that promotes clarity and preserves the objectives of Congress established by the Copyright Act; discusses whether UCITA remains relevant in light of the preemptive power of copyright law; and proposes that additional federal legislation is a more appropriate solution to the problems surrounding computer software reproduction and use.