Contractual Liability of Suppliers of Defective Software: A Comparison of the Law of the United Kingdom and United States

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Vol: 26, Issue: 1, Page: 77

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Blythe, Stephen E.
international law; defective software; United Kingdom; United States; contractual liability; products liability; software; virtual contracts; digital contracts; reasonableness; unconscionability; shrink-wrap licenses; implied warranties; limitation of rem; Contracts; Law
article description
The common law of contracts has its roots in medieval England. Traditional contract law, evolved from the age of feudalism, focused on "hard copy" documents and their authentication. Today, we frequently find ourselves entering into virtual, digital contracts. Instead of signing the written document with a seal, we merely type in our name on the computer screen and click on "I accept." Should contract law be changed to accommodate the digital nature of the modem contract and, if so, to what extent should it be changed? A traditionalist may contend that there is no need to completely overhaul contract law because the law pertaining to the basic elements of a contract-offer, acceptance, etc.-is still relevant. Nevertheless, most countries and international organizations have modified their contract law somewhat in order to adjust to the peculiar nuances of virtual, digital agreements.' The law of digital contracts is emerging worldwide at a rapid pace. This evolution of contract law is a wholesome and natural phenomenon and is another illustration of the beauty of the law. Contract law, and the law in general, is never static. Rather, it is always dynamic, responding and adapting to new inventions and occurrences.