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Copyright Trustees of Boston University 1985.

Boston University Law Review

NOTE: COMPUTER SOFTWARE AS A GOOD UNDER THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE: TAKING A BYTE OUT OF THE INTANGIBILITY MYTH.

JANUARY, 1985

65 B.U.L. Rev. 129

Author

Bonna Lynn Horovitz

Excerpt

The past decade has seen a tremendous increase in the use of home, personal, and business computers as a result of more sophisticated, less expensive technology. Just as the legal system was forced to adapt to address the development of the automobile and the airplane, it will be forced to adapt to accommodate the computer. 1 The massive amount of computer-related litigation currently before the courts 2 is an indication of the extent of the regal problem computers present. Even as computer technology becomes simpler and more precise, liability claims will continue to arise from problems in computer programs because of the inherent impossibility of perfection. 3

Treatment of contract claims involving transfers of computer software 4 depends upon whether these transfers are classified as "transactions in goods" under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Article 2 of the UCC governs the law of sales and applies solely to transactions in goods. 5 Transactions involving certain intangibles 6 are expressly denied UCC coverage. 7 Contracts for personal services and some non-sale transactions are also excluded from Article 2. 8 The peculiar nature of computer software is such that it eludes ordinary legal classification as either a good or an intangible. 9 The peculiar technology of the software industry is such that many arrangements for the transfer of software resemble service contracts 10 or are not structured as traditional sales. 11 A definitive, reasoned analysis of the appropriateness of UCC application to transactions in computer software is essential because the ...
 
 
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