Koopman Speaks on Software Licensing Laws at FTC Forum

 

January 1, 2001

ECE Professor Philip Koopman spoke at the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) High-Tech Warranty Forum in Washington D.C. on issues related to new computer software licensing laws, such as the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA).

UCITA covers liability disclaimers and other clauses common in "shrink-wrap" and "click-to-agree" licenses for computer software. The FTC asked Koopman to comment on its effects on software embedded in consumer goods such as automobiles, appliances, and entertainment electronics. Koopman cautioned that because the wording of the law does not limit coverage to desktop systems alone, the UCITA and similar laws could have an effect on embedded computing systems. Companies could have incentive to modify products to fall under UCITA even if that were likely to make their goods less reliable.

Koopman's expertise on embedded systems has also been tapped for interviews with The Wall Street Journal, policy summaries from the Bureau of National Affairs, and consultations with the Consumer's Union and other public interest groups.

Headshot of Philip Koopman

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Philip Koopman