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The Exportability of the Principles of Software: Lost in Translation?

58 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2009 Last revised: 3 Mar 2012

Michael L. Rustad

Suffolk University Law School

Maria Vittoria Onufrio

Center for the Study of Women - UCLA

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The American Law Institute approval of The Principles of Software Contracts is a significant milestone in the history of software law. The project began in 2004 because of the flaws of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act concerning this issue, problems strengthened by the widely held perception that the law at the time was “undeveloped, confused, and conflicting.” Software licensing is presently America’s third largest industry and has suffered from the mechanical extension of the law of sales to software over the last forty years, much like courts imported “horse and buggy law” to resolve problems posed by the automobile. Thankfully, the Principles achieve the objective of bringing common sense to the common law of software contracts. However, the project is heavily centered on the United States with limited exportability to the European Union in its current form. This piece looks at the path of software contracting law over the past twenty years, the Principles of Software Contracts itself, and its exportability to the rest of the world, particularly the European Union.

Keywords: principles of software contracts, software contracts, american law institute, uniform commerical code, soft law, statutory approach

JEL Classification: K10, K12

Suggested Citation

Rustad, Michael L. and Onufrio, Maria Vittoria, The Exportability of the Principles of Software: Lost in Translation? (2010). Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal, Vol. 2, p. 25, 2010; Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2009-03; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 09-45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1466875 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1466875

Michael L. Rustad (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

Maria Vittoria Onufrio

Center for the Study of Women - UCLA ( email )

Public Affairs 1500
Los Angeles, CA
United States

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