Woodrow Hartzog on clickwrap and browsewrap agreements

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July 26, 2011

Woodrow Hartzog, Assistant Professor at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, and a Scholar at the Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, discusses his new paper in Communications Law and Policy entitled, The New Price To Play: Are Passive Online Media Users Bound By Terms of Use? By simply browsing the internet, one can be obligated by a “terms of use” agreement displayed on a website. These agreements, according to Hartzog, aren’t always displayed where a user can immediately read them, and they often contain complicated legalese. Web browsers can be affected unfavorably by these agreements, particularly when it comes to copyright and privacy issues. Hartzog evaluates what the courts are doing about this, and discusses the different factors that could determine the enforceability of these agreements, including the type of notice a web browser receives.

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