Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2106875
 
 

Footnotes (44)



 


 



Set in Stone? Change and Innovation in Consumer Standard-Form Contracts


Florencia Marotta-Wurgler


New York University School of Law

Robert Brendan Taylor


Kirkland & Ellis

July 11, 2012

New York University Law Review, Vol. 88, 2013
7th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-40

Abstract:     
This article studies the rate, direction, and determinants of change in consumer standard form contracting. We examine what changed between 2003 and 2010 in the terms of 264 mass-market consumer software license agreements. Thirty-nine percent of contracts materially changed at least one term, and some changed as many as fourteen terms. The average contract became more pro-seller as well as several hundred words longer. The increase in length is not due to the use of simpler language: contract readability has been constant: the average contract is as readable as an article in a scientific journal. Younger, larger, growing firms, and firms with in-house counsel were more likely to change existing terms and to introduce new terms to take advantage of technological and market developments. Contracts appeared to respond to litigation outcomes: Terms that were increasingly enforced by courts were more frequently used in contracts, and vice-versa. The results indicate that software license agreements are relatively dynamic and shaped by multiple factors over time. We discuss potential consumer protection implications as a result of the increased length and complexity of contracts over time.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: contracts, commercial law, consumer law

JEL Classification: K12; K41

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: July 15, 2012 ; Last revised: June 11, 2014

Suggested Citation

Marotta-Wurgler, Florencia and Taylor, Robert Brendan, Set in Stone? Change and Innovation in Consumer Standard-Form Contracts (July 11, 2012). New York University Law Review, Vol. 88, 2013; 7th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper; NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-40. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2106875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2106875

Contact Information

Florencia Marotta-Wurgler (Contact Author)
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
HOME PAGE: http://its.law.nyu.edu/facultyprofiles/profile.cfm?personID=27875
Robert Brendan Taylor
Kirkland & Ellis ( email )
CA
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 631
Downloads: 164
Download Rank: 106,776
Footnotes:  44
People who downloaded this paper also downloaded:
1. The Dynamics of Contract Evolution
By Stephen Choi, G. Gulati, ...

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.360 seconds