Subject: [fem-women2000 514] NetAction Notes No. 60 -- NGOとインターネット、 Web技術はどこまで必要?
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 21:15:49 +0900
Seq: 514

「基本に回帰」するネットアクションから ちょっと面白い文章。

# 近日中に大幅改定予定につき、協力者募集中。


---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: Audrie Krause <>
 Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 01:31:16 -0600 (MDT)
 Subject: NetAction Notes No. 60

Published by NetAction          Issue No. 60     September 15, 2000

Repost where appropriate. Copyright and subscription info at end of message.
* * * * * * *
In This Issue:
Back to Basics
Software: The Buyer's Perspective
About NetAction Notes

Back to Basics

It has been more than four years since NetAction was founded, and in 
that time interest in using technology for activism has increased 
dramatically. Several well-funded projects have been initiated to 
help nonprofit organizations put technology to use. The technology 
consulting business has exploded as more organizations have developed 
web sites, started mailing lists, and launched online advocacy 
campaigns. We're even seeing for-profit businesses starting up to 
serve the nonprofit sector's technology needs.

All of this is exciting. But how much of it is really necessary? Many 
organizations and individual activists are still challenged by such 
basic technology skills as sending and receiving email reliably. Even 
in organizations that conduct sophisticated online advocacy 
campaigns, feature cutting edge technology on their web sites and 
manage multiple email lists, it is not uncommon to find just one or 
two people with the skills necessary to put technology to use in 
creative ways.

I've been reminded of this frequently over the past year because I've 
been working closely as a volunteer board member with the California 
Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. CARAL is a grassroots 
advocacy organization working to protect a range of women's 
reproductive rights. As part of its advocacy program, CARAL operates 
an email action alert list with several thousand subscribers, and 
maintains two web sites. One of the sites, <> is 
focused on advocacy while the other, <>, is 
devoted to the programs supported by CARAL's non-advocacy Pro-Choice 
Education Fund.

CARAL's technology challenges are no different than those facing many 
other nonprofit organizations. Newly hired staff need help learning 
how to use software that they haven't used before. Email browser 
Internet settings need to be configured. Decisions need to be made 
about trying digital subscribe line (DSL) service, partnering with 
charity portals for online fundraising, and upgrading the office 

None of these are difficult issues to address, given sufficient time. 
But time is a precious commodity for many nonprofits. Too few people, 
with too few resources, are trying to accomplish more than is humanly 
possible. Under the circumstances, it isn't surprising if the skills 
necessary to make the most effective use of technology are in short 

I think it's important for those of us who are enthusiastic about 
technology's potential to keep this in mind. Sure, there are many 
organizations using technology in creative ways. But many more are 
still learning the basics.

Software: The Buyer's Perspective

NetAction, joined by Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility 
(CPSR) and CompuMentor, is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 
to ensure that software purchases are protected by the same law that 
governs the sale of other consumer products.

That law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, requires that 
product warranties and other conditions of a sale be clear, 
understandable, and -- most importantly -- disclosed prior to the 
purchase. The requirement enables consumers to make informed 
decisions about the products they buy.  This is always an important 
consideration, but especially so with products like software that not 
only can cost hundreds of dollars but can't be returned to the 
retailer once the package has been opened.

So disclosure of the warranty and licensing terms before the sale 
seems like a reasonable requirement.  But that isn't how the software 
industry sees it.

The common practice among software publishers has been to disclose 
warranty and licensing terms after the consumer has purchased and 
started to install the software. Typically, when a consumer attempts 
to install new software a window appears that informs the user that 
by completing the installation, she or he is agreeing to the software 
publisher's terms. Those terms are almost always described in complex 
legal language and displayed in a small, scrolling window. It's 
doubtful that many consumers bother to read the terms before clicking 
the "Accept" button and completing the software installation.

So, in essence the buyer is forced to agree to the terms in order to 
use the software. This practice is now the subject of a proposed 
state law, the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA). 
UCITA would sanction the industry's practice of disclosing warranty 
and licensing terms after the sale, designating the software purchase 
as a "license" of intellectual property rather than as the purchase 
of a consumer product.

So far, only the Virginia State Legislature and the Maryland General 
Assembly have approved UCITA, but it is expected to be introduced in 
all 50 states within the next two years. Virginia has delayed its 
implementation until July 2001 in order to consider the concerns that 
have been raised about it, and Maryland approved an amended version 
of the proposal.  It is expected to be introduced in all 50 states 
within the next two years.

Concerns about UCITA have been raised by the FTC staff and the 
Attorneys General of 26 states, as well as by many consumer groups, 
software developers, law professors and professional organizations.

Individual consumers are not the only software purchasers who will be 
hurt if UCITA is adopted. Public institutions such as schools and 
libraries, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses will also be 
effected. UCITA's licensing terms are so restrictive, in fact, that 
they threaten to diminish the potential benefits of technology for 

Because the issue is controversial, the FTC has solicited written 
comments from interested parties and scheduled a public forum for 
Oct. 26-27 to consider the implications of UCITA on existing consumer 
protection law.
See: <>. 
NetAction, joined by CPSR and CompuMentor, submitted comments on Sept 
11, 2000. Our comments, drafted by Prof. David R. Rice of Roger 
Williams University School of Law, are on the web at: 

Although software publishers consider their product intellectual 
property which consumers are merely licensing for use, in our 
analysis the "market reality" is something else. For consumers, 
software is a product which can be purchased, and policy makers 
should focus on these market realities to ensure adequate protection 
of consumers.

NetAction is also asking the FTC to ensure that consumer protections 
are "technology neutral" by adopting a Trade Regulation Rule so that 
the same protections apply whether software is purchased in a box 
>from a retail store, or downloaded from a website.

As Prof. Rice notes, a copy distributed online differs only in terms 
of the means of distribution.

The software warranty issue has been debated for several years. It 
was initially considered by the National Conference of Commissioners 
on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and the American Law Institute (ALI) 
as an amendment to the Uniform Commercial Code. At that time, it was 
referred to as the "shrinkwrap" license proposal. (See NetAction 
Notes Number 37 <> and 57 
<> for our earlier reports 
on this issue.)

The ALI ultimately opposed the proposal, but after further debate it 
was approved by the NCCUSL in July 1999 and sent to state 
legislatures for consideration.

In addition to the FTC's public forum, the American Library 
Association's (ALA) Washington Office has organized a workshop, a 
teleconference and an online tutorial on UCITA. Details can be found 
on the ALA website at: 
<>. Additional 
background is at: <>.

Other useful resources include a lobbying guide prepared by Slashdot, at:
<> the 4Cite 
Coalition's comprehensive background at: <>.
About NetAction Notes

NetAction Notes is a free electronic newsletter, published by NetAction to
promote effective grassroots organizing on the Internet.  NetAction is a
national, non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public, policy
makers, and the media about technology-based social and political issues,
and to teaching activists how to use the Internet for organizing, outreach,
and advocacy.

To subscribe to NetAction Notes, send a message to: <>
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NetAction is seeking sponsors to provide financial support for the continued
publication of NetAction Notes.  Sponsors will be acknowledged in the
newsletter and on NetAction's Web site. NetAction is supported by individual
contributions, membership dues and grants.

For more information about contributing to NetAction, or sponsoring this
newsletter, contact Audrie Krause by phone at (415) 775-8674, by E-mail at>, visit the NetAction Web site at
<>, or write to:
NetAction * 601 Van Ness Ave., No. 631 * San Francisco, CA 94102
Copyright 2000 by NetAction/The Tides Center.  All rights reserved.
Material may be reposted or reproduced for non-commercial use provided
NetAction is cited as the source.  NetAction is a project of The Tides
Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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