As technology continues to advance, the ways that we legally agree to various terms and conditions are evolving as well. It is becoming increasingly common for companies to use shrink-wrap agreements and click on agreements rather than traditional written contracts. But how exactly do these agreements differ from other contracts? Let`s take a closer look.
Shrink-wrap agreements, also known as shrink-wrap licenses, are a type of contract that is typically used for software or digital products. The name comes from the shrink-wrap plastic covering that is often used to protect physical copies of software or other products. These agreements are essentially terms and conditions that are enclosed with the product and the act of opening the shrink-wrap or using the product is considered acceptance of the terms.
Click on agreements, also called click-wrap or browse-wrap agreements, are similar to shrink-wrap agreements but are used for online services or products. These agreements require the user to click a button or link indicating acceptance of the terms before being able to use the service or product. Browse-wrap agreements do not require a user to take an action to accept the terms, but instead, the terms are provided somewhere on the website or app and it is assumed that the user has read and accepted them.
So how do these types of agreements differ from traditional written contracts? The most obvious difference is the method of acceptance. Traditional contracts require both parties to sign the document or otherwise indicate acceptance of the terms. Shrink-wrap and click-on agreements allow for automatic acceptance of terms simply by using the product or service.
Another difference is the level of negotiation involved. Traditional contracts are negotiated between both parties and often involve revisions and changes before both parties come to an agreement. Shrink-wrap and click-on agreements are typically one-sided agreements that are provided by the company offering the product or service.
However, just because these agreements are more streamlined and require less negotiation does not mean they are any less legally binding. In fact, courts have generally upheld these agreements as valid contracts as long as they meet certain requirements, such as being clear and conspicuous, providing reasonable notice, and allowing the user to decline the agreement.
In conclusion, shrink-wrap and click on agreements differ from other contracts in that they allow for automatic acceptance of terms simply by using the product or service, and may be one-sided without the need for extensive negotiation. However, they are still legally binding contracts and must meet certain requirements to be enforceable. As technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how these types of agreements continue to shape the legal landscape.