ContractsProf Blog

Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Thursday, January 24, 2013

When is a Contract Not a Contract?

I recently finished a book manuscript on the subject of “wrap contracts” – shrinkwraps, clickwraps, browsewraps, tapwraps, etc.  These non-traditional contracts are interstitial, occupying space in and between contracts and internet law, but not neatly fitting into one alone.  I'll be blogging a lot more about them in the future.

On the subject of wrap contracts, not long ago I bought a new laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed. 
But that didn’t mean I didn’t have to agree to this:

Windows License Terms 

What's interesting is that my old laptop, which I ordered online, came in a package like this:

  Torn Agreement

Like the typical shrinkwrap, ripping the plastic bag (which was necessary to get to the laptop inside it) was deemed acceptance. 

Both were examples of rolling contracts, but they came in different forms -- and neither gave me notice of any terms to come at the time of the transaction.  Yet consider the hassle I would have to go through if I decided, after having received the goods and a "reasonable opportunity to read" the terms, that I didn't want to accept the terms.  I would  have to ship back the computer or take it back to the store, and try to explain that I was rejecting it because I disagreed with the contract terms. 

Honestly, now - don't you think the retailer would just think I was nuts?  Or that I had found a better deal elsewhere?  (Or that I had done something sneaky, like somehow copied the software or infected the computer with a virus?)  How many think I would actually get my money back if there was nothing (else) wrong with the laptop(s)?

 

[Nancy Kim]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2013/01/when-is-a-contract-not-a-contract.html

E-commerce, Miscellaneous, True Contracts, Web/Tech | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef017ee7a9c3c0970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference When is a Contract Not a Contract?:

Comments

Post a comment