> What is realistic is the barbed shaft (tailored just for us) that some
> predatory software vendors are lobbying for via the UCTAI. Among
> other things, here is what they want:
>     -Legalize remote turnoff  of users' software (check out MS XP)
>     -Ban unfavorable reviews of  software
>     -Legal protection for software vendors selling
>      products with known bugs.
> (See IEEE "The Institute" November 2001 Vol 25  No 11).

Thanks for the info, Fred.  The article was confusing, though.  It said that
no states passed the UCTAI, but then it said that Virginia and Maryland
passed an amended version of it.

I wonder if there are other pre-existing laws that can be used to vacate
provisions of UCTAI.  For example, if remote turnoff of software is used,
can it be considered illegal by the RICO (anti-racketeering) statutes?  It's
like a protection racket:  Youse pay your premiums, see, or we turn off your
software and hold your data for ransom, capiche?

The Magnuson-Moss Act says several things, one of which is:  "The Act
prohibits anyone who offers a written warranty from disclaiming or modifying
implied warranties. This means that no matter how broad or narrow your
written warranty is, your customers always will receive the basic protection
of the implied warranty of merchantability."  I seem to remember that a
warranty is offered on the media the software is distributed on.  So, if
that warranty is offered, shouldn't it be extended by law to the basic
protection of implied warranty of merchantability.  This is legalese for:
"A product should do what it is intended for.  Protel should be suitable for
designing schematics, PCBs, and simulation".  So, the ever-present phrase
"no warranty is made for suitability for a particular purpose" should be
legally vacant.

Of course, the legislators that pass things like UCTAI, DMCA, etc. probably
have never read unimportant stuff such as consumer rights legislation and
the Bill of Rights, or they are too concerned with PAC money to care.

Software as a service is an idea that should be discredited and driven out
of the industry mindset.  The problem with services is that the
Magnuson-Moss Act does not apply to services.  Therefore, if software is
defined as a service, there is no warranty whatsoever that could be enforced
against it.  Note that I am referring to what should be "shrink-wrapped"
software (Word, Protel ,etc.), not custom software or data processing
services.

> I've done a considerable amount of software development for
> instrumentation, systems, and engineering applications. I've always
> debugged and certified the software before I released it.

Funny thing about software:  if you sell it in conjuction with hardware
(embedded system), bugs are not tolerated.  If bugs exist, you can legally
demand and receive your money back.  But, if it's sold as purely a software
product, bugs are not only tolerated, but expected, any you are out for your
money.  Where's the sense in this?

Software industry is becoming more and more of a huge bully.  Bill Gates is
leading the way.  It would be ironic if in 5-10 years Linux became the
market share leader for no other reason than Microsoft got too greedy.  How
does this relate to Protel?  Protel should not become too greedy and piss
off it's users.  That means taking responsibility for bugs, fixing them, and
not gouging the users for the fixes.

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com


----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred A Rupinski" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2001 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] ATS Specifications, Terms and Conditions


> What is realistic is the barbed shaft (tailored just for us) that some
> predatory software vendors are lobbying for via the UCTAI. Among
> other things, here is what they want:
>     -Legalize remote turnoff  of users' software (check out MS XP)
>     -Ban unfavorable reviews of  software
>     -Legal protection for software vendors selling
>      products with known bugs.
> (See IEEE "The Institute" November 2001 Vol 25  No 11).
>
> I suspect that the manual is a de facto legal document anyway.
> Ask your lawyer.
>
> I've done a considerable amount of software development for
> instrumentation, systems, and engineering applications. I've always
> debugged and certified the software before I released it.
>
> At $US1995 for an ATS service contract, customers have a right to receive
> service. On site is usually done through a contract service organization.
> No rational person would ever pay for a service contract which doesn't
> provide SERVICE.
>
> So you've been there, done that, and write buggy software. You also want
> to forget ATS, which is not an option for many who use Protel in earning
> a living. It's now time to be creative and constructive. Tell Altium what
> YOU want!
>
> Fred
>


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