Exploitation by Wrap Contracts -- Click 'Agree'
California Bar IP Journal, New Matter, Vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 10-17 (2014)
8 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2014
Date Written: June 2, 2014
A spate of news articles involving online agreements has made headlines recently. They provide cautionary tales of the brave new world of wrap contracts where unwitting users can be exploited simply by clicking "agree." Wrap contracts — particularly digital ones such as clickwraps and browsewraps — govern most online activity, setting rules and giving companies broad enforcement discretion. Despite their ubiquity on the Internet and their increasing importance in online interactions, consumers discount or ignore how wrap contracts affect their rights and leave them vulnerable. This essay explains why these recent examples mark a turning point in the role of wrap contracts in Internet governance — and why consumers should be very wary of clicking "agree."
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