Defending Disclosure in Software Licensing
Robert A. Hillman
Cornell Law School
Maureen A. O'Rourke
Boston University School of Law
April 27, 2010
Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 010-008
For lack of our imagination, this article does not have the most scintillating title. However, the subject matter is critically important. We survey prominent kinds of disclosures in law and show why the disclosure tool, though subject to substantial criticism, is central to the legitimacy of any legal regime. Our working example is the American Law Institute’s “Principles of the Law of Software Contracts” (hereinafter “ALI Principles”).
The ALI Principles include three kinds of disclosure: disclosure of facts (concerning the quality of software), disclosure of terms (of standard forms), and disclosure of post-contract intentions (to pursue remote disablement of software). We take each up respectively in the three sections that follow and show how these forms of disclosure promote important social values and goals.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: disclosure, Internet, software, licensing
JEL Classification: law and economics
Date posted: April 28, 2010