March 2006 Vol. 104 No. 5 THE REVIEW

Online Boilerplate: Would Mandatory Website Disclosure of E-Standard Terms Backfire?

Robert A. Hillman

A law backfires when it produces results opposite from those its drafters intended. Lots of laws may have backfired. For example, people opposed to hate crimes legislation think that the laws “inflame prejudice rather than eradicate it.” The Endangered Species Act, according to some analysts, has helped destroy rather than preserve the creatures listed by the Act. Even consumer protection laws, some believe, increase prices and confuse consumers instead of protecting them.

This Article analyzes whether mandatory website disclosure of e-standard terms, advocated by some as a potential solution to market failures when consumers contract over the Internet, is another potential legal backfire. By mandatory website disclosure, I do not mean a “clickwrap” presentation of terms, in which a consumer must click “I agree” or the like on a screen presenting the terms prior to the completion of a transaction in progress. Mandatory website disclosure would require a business to maintain an Internet presence and to post its terms prior to any particular transaction so that a consumer could read and compare terms without making a purchase at all.

   //  VIEW PDF
& Other Current Events

Speedy Trial as a Viable Challenge to Chronic Underfunding in Indigent-Defense Systems

Across the country, underresourced indigent-defense systems create delays in taking cases to trial...

A Blended Approach to Reducing the Costs of Shareholder Litigation

Multiforum litigation and federal securities law class actions impose heavy costs on corporations and...

The Scope of Precedent

The scope of Supreme Court precedent is capacious. Justices of the Court commonly defer to sweeping rationales...

Reinventing Copyright and Patent

Intellectual property systems all over the world are modeled on a one-size-fits-all principle. However...

Protecting Whistleblower Protections in the Dodd-Frank Act

In 2008, the United States fell into its worst economic recession in over seventy years. In response,...
MAILING LIST
Sign Up to Join Our Mailing List