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Turned On Its Head?: Norms, Freedom, And Acceptable Terms In Internet Contracting, Richard Warner Jan 2008

Turned On Its Head?: Norms, Freedom, And Acceptable Terms In Internet Contracting, Richard Warner

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Is the Internet turning contract law on its head? Many commentators contend it is. Precisely this issue arises in current controversies over end user license agreements (EULAs) and Terms of Use agreements (TOUs, the agreements governing our use of web sites). Commentators complain that, in both cases, the formation process unduly restricts buyers’ freedom; and, that sellers and web site owners exploit the process to impose terms that deprive consumers of important intellectual property and privacy rights. The courts ignore the criticisms and routinely enforce EULAs and TOUs. There is truth on both sides of this court/commentator divide. EULAs and …


The Microfoundations Of Standard Form Contracts: Price Discrimination Vs. Behavioral Bias, Jonathan Klick Jan 2005

The Microfoundations Of Standard Form Contracts: Price Discrimination Vs. Behavioral Bias, Jonathan Klick

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Standard form contracts, or contracts of adhesion, appear to provide contradictory evidence for the operation of bargaining in the markets where they are common. Non-negotiated contract terms that seemingly benefit sellers to the detriment of buyers call into question the efficiency implications of the Coase Theorem, which forms the foundation of positive law and economics. Proponents of the behavioral school of law and economics have suggested that behavioral biases, observed in experimental contexts, provide the most plausible explanation for standard form contracts. However, price discrimination might provide a more parsimonious explanation for abusive terms in contracts. If there is heterogeneity …