A model legislative act proposed for adoption by the fifty U.S. states. Despite the fact that it is opposed by twenty-three U.S. attorneys general, by every consumer-rights organization that has ever examined the issue, and by hosts of legal scholars, two states, Virginia and Maryland, have already adopted the measure. You can expect other states--hoping to cash in on lobbyists' bucks and the tax revenues they'll get by attracting software firms to their states--to adopt UCITA in short order.

Among UCITA's many odious provisions is a blow against long-established legal conceptions, namely that consumers should be protected against contracts with small-print provisions which would be "surprising" to a rational, disinterested party. Under UCITA, when you click "I Agree", you're bound. Under UCITA, for example, it's quite possible for an online vendor to attach a lifetime credit-card charge to a customer's account without calling this to the customer's attention, and there's no way the customer can escape the resulting financial obligation. If you think this is an extreme analysis of UCITA, 23 attorneys general of the United States cited this potential as one of their chief objections to the proposed legislation.

UCITA's would-be provisions also elevate the legally weak (and probably unsupportable) claim to a "trade secret," which are protected only weakly by intellectual property law, to the level of copyright, which has much stronger protection, thanks to the DMCA.