Warranty Protection for High-Tech Products and Services
Please note: Transcripts are not final. Minor alterations may be made in the upcoming weeks.
Symposium to be held on October 26-27, 2000
Comments due on or before September 11, 2000
The Federal Trade Commission will hold a public forum on October 26 and 27, 2000 to examine warranty protection for software and other high-tech goods and services marketed to consumers.
(*Note time changes)
The public forum will be held at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. on October 26, 2000 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on October 27, 2000 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The forum is open to the public, and there is no formal registration process for those wishing to attend.
The public forum will focus on high-tech warranty issues, including:
- the warranty protections afforded to purchasers of mass market "shrinkwrap" or "clickwrap" software;
- the practice of marketing software to consumers in the form of a license, rather than the sale of goods;
- the use of shrinkwrap or clickwrap warranties to disclaim substantive implied warranty protections provided by state law;
- the problems inherent in making clear and conspicuous disclosure of material terms in shrinkwrap and clickwrap agreements;
- he unavailability of shrinkwrap or clickwrap license agreements for pre-sale review; and,
- he role of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in the marketing, sale or licensing of software.
Several of these issues recently have been considered in the context of the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA), a model uniform state law drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). UCITA would, among other things, affirm the enforceability of mass market software licenses. Several provisions of UCITA, including sections dealing with mass market licenses, raise concern among consumer groups and law enforcement officials, including the staff of the Federal Trade Commission. FTC staff submitted two staff comments to NCCUSL during the date preceeding NCCUSL's approval of UCITA, the first on October 30, 1998, and the second on July 9, 1999.
The Commission invites members of the public to submit academic papers and public comments regarding these issues. Interested parties must submit papers and comments on or before September 11, 2000.
Symposium Agenda *Revised 10/25*
More Information on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
Washington area information
For more information about the public forum, please contact: