|From: Ben Rosengart
Date: Thu, Sep 7, 2000 4:49 PM
Subject: High-Tech Warranty Project -- Comment, P994413.
Hello, Federal Trade Commission. I would like to comment on two of the points you raise in your request for comments at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2000/05/hightechforum.htm.
"What expectations do consumers have about reliability of software and other computer information products and services? Are these expectations met?"
1. In my experience, consumers expect software to fail frequently, in manners ranging from catastrophic to merely annoying. Unfortunately, their expectations are usually met.
2. The reasons for this are quite complex, and I'm not sure that I understand them fully. I believe it has much to do with the newness of the industry, and the widespread lack of understanding as to how software actually works.
3. I do believe that there should be some pressure on software makers to produce more reliable systems. A change in warranty protections might provide this pressure. The pressure could also come from a change in market dynamics, though I don't see how that could happen at this time.
"How would the proposed Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) affect consumers?"
4. I am *extremely* concerned about the broad powers this grants to licensors of software. It would make licenses binding which consumers don't have access to until after they purchase a product, and which they may not understand anyway. Licensors already hold most of the cards in the licensor/licensee relationship, and UCITY would further tip the balance of power in their favor.
Thank you for considering my opinions. I am speaking only on my own behalf and not on that of my employer, iTurf Inc.