Wrap Contracts: Foundations and Ramifications
When you visit a website, check your email, or download music, you enter into a contract that you probably don't know exists. 'Wrap contracts' - shrinkwrap, clickwrap and browsewrap agreements - are non-traditional contracts that look nothing like legal documents. Contrary to what courts have held, they are not 'just like' other standard form contracts, and consumers do not perceive them the same way. Wrap contract terms are more aggressive and permit dubious business practices, such as the collection of personal information and the appropriation of user-created content. In digital form, wrap contracts are weightless and cheap to reproduce. Given their low cost and flexible form, businesses engage in 'contracting mania' where they use wrap contracts excessively and in a wide variety of contexts. Courts impose a duty to read upon consumers but don't impose a duty upon businesses to make contracts easy to read. The result is that consumers are subjected to onerous legalese for nearly every online interaction.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press USA|