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Law Library News for November 27, 2000

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive

 

Dean Candidates' Publications

The most recent publications for each Dean candidate have been put on Course Reserve for you to review. This week, Professor Jamin Raskin of Washington College of Law at the American University and Professor Stephen Saltzburg of George Washington University Law School will be here for interviews and talks.

To see their selected publications, either go to MARIAN, select Course Reserves by Professor, and type in the candidate�s last name OR look through the listings in the brightly colored notebook located on the Circulation Desk). You may also want to review the candidates' faculty profiles at their current schools: Professor Jamin Raskin, http://www.wcl.american.edu/faculty/raskin/index.html, and Professor Stephen Saltzburg, http://www.law.gwu.edu/fac/faculty.asp?pkey_f=62.

Exams Are Coming

by Mary Ann Hyatt

The Law Library will have extended hours at the end of the quarter so you can study for exams here. We'll be open until 11pm from the last day of class on Wednesday Dec. 6th to the last day of exams on Friday Dec. 15th.

A good way to prepare for finals is to take old exams. These are on the Law Library website, organized by faculty name then course title. Please contact Mary Ann Hyatt at 685-9459, mweber@u., or just drop by the Circulation Desk if you have suggestions for other ways we can help you.

UCITA

by Jonathan Franklin

Have you heard of UCITA? If not, you will. UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) is a controversial uniform law that would permit the licensing of digital information, including software, ebooks, music, and virtually anything else that is digitized (as well as some things that are not). The licensors of digital information support UCITA because it permits them to define the terms of the transaction in the licensor's favor and validates shrinkwrap licenses. Shrinkwrap licenses are licenses that cannot be read by the licensee prior to purchase because the entire license is inside the box that has shrinkwrap around it. UCITA would also validate clickwrap licenses. Clickwrap licenses are agreements that appear on our computer screen that permit you to just click "I agree," whether you have read the contract or not.

Under UCITA, while these contracts would minimize transaction costs, they also permit licensors to prevent you from giving your copy of the licensed digital information away, prevent you from exercising your fair use rights (because you licensed it, rather than purchased it, copyright might not apply), or prevent you from publicly criticizing the product you licensed.

UCITA has been in the works for ten years and was originally called Article 2B. It was called Article 2B because it was going to be part of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). A few years ago, the American Law Institute voted against Article 2B becoming part of the UCC. At that point, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) decided to convert Article 2B into a standalone uniform law, UCITA.

The text of UCITA with the official comments is 348 pages and can be found at http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/ulc/ucita/ucitaFinal00.htm

See also a pro-UCITA website, http://www.ucitaonline.com/index.html, and an anti-UCITA website, http://www.4cite.org.