Expanding the Scope of the Principles of the Law of Software Contracts to Include Digital Content

16 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2010 Last revised: 6 Nov 2015

Nancy S. Kim

California Western School of Law

Date Written: April 28, 2010

Abstract

The Principles of the Law of Software Contracts, or the “Principles,” seek to “unify and clarify” the law of software transactions. The drafters, however, excluded “digital content” from the scope of their project. This Essay explains why the scope of the Principles should encompass digital content. The exclusion of digital content creates two different but related problems. The first problem is that it creates what I refer to as “classification confusion.” Given the complexity and speed of technological innovation, the task of distinguishing digital content from software may be difficult for courts. The second problem is that it fails to resolve the conundrum of how to balance the proprietary rights and interests of licensor-owners and the rights and interests of licensee-consumers. This conundrum in turn has created problems of contractual form and user assent that arose out of software transactions but which have much more troubling applications in other contexts. With (and sometimes, even without) a click of a mouse, one can relinquish intellectual property, privacy, and expression rights.

This Essay proposes that the Principles should generally apply to digital content. The Principles are an impressive accomplishment and go a long way toward unifying and clarifying the law of software transactions. This Essay urges that they go even further.

Suggested Citation

Kim, Nancy S., Expanding the Scope of the Principles of the Law of Software Contracts to Include Digital Content (April 28, 2010). Tulane Law Review, Vol. 84, p. 1595, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1597366

Nancy S. Kim (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

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