Friday, October 16, 2009

E-commerce Law in United States

The growth of e-commerce has increased the use of electronic contracts. Most of the countries nowadays adapted their commercial legislation to recognize electronic contracts and signatures as legally valid instruments. Although in this modern time, e-commerce and the promulgation of laws protecting e-commerce contracts has been expanded, many businesses and Internet users do not know precisely what law applies to their e-commerce contracts. Below are the lists of e-commerce law in the Unite States.

Basically there are some laws of electronics contracts in the United States. One of them is Uniformed Commercial Code (U.C.C. The U.C.C. is a set of uniformed commercial rules that have been adopted by most states. U.C.C. Article 2 refers to the sale of goods and Article 2A refers to the lease of goods including computer equipment. Thus, the U.C.C. applies to electronic contracts for the sale of goods. The U.C.C. does not apply to the online sale of services. Application of U.C.C. to the sale of electronic materials is definitely a complex issue that must be reviewed in a case by case basis. Important issues to be considered are if the licensing includes some type of service, the scope of the service, and the state where the contract is performed. The Restatement of Contracts may be an important tool here. For instance, if the state laws consider licensing of a product a sale of goods when incidental service is involved, then the U.C.C. rules would apply to that specific online licensing contract. In sum, the U.C.C. clearly applies to the online sale of goods; and it may also apply to the sale of certain electronic materials depending on the jurisdiction, the type of 'electronic material,' and the amount of service that this sale entails.

Another important law is Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). This law has been introduced by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in 1999. According to Article 3 and Article 4 of the UETA, this law is only applies to transactions related to business, commercial, and government matters; and to transactions conducted by electronic means.

Next, there are also U.C. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) which was in effect in 2001. As the validity of electronic commerce is the popular in e-commerce, this act recognizes the validity of contracts entered electronically, and where electronic signatures have been incorporated. The main purpose of this Act was to bestow on electronic contracts, the same authority as its paper-base counterpart. It is important to note that the E-Sign Act is not considered the U.S. electronic signature law. The E-Sign Act broadly defines electronic signatures as any mark or sound. Thus, any mark, image, symbol, or sound may constitute an e-signature for purposes of electronic contracts.

In conclusion, united stated has taken an effective step to solve the problem of e-commerce by enacting these kind of laws. This will make easier to the individual or society to bring action in case of e-commerce.

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