European Contract Law in the Digital Age

The book offers an overview of the interactions between digital technologies and contract law, focusing largely on the two Proposals of the EU Commission of 2016 on digital contracting and digital contents.
Stefan Grundmann
European Contract Law and Theory
book | published | 1st edition
February 2018 | xii + 334 pp.



ISBN 9781780684772

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ISBN 9781780686431

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European Contract Law in the Digital Age offers an overview of the interactions between digital technologies and contract law and takes into account the two (late) 2015 EU Commission proposals on digital contracting and digital content. The book goes beyond these proposals and is grouped around the three pillars of an architecture of contract law in the digital age: the regulatory framework; digital interventions over the life-cycle of the contract; and digital objects of contracting.

The discussion of the regulatory framework looks at the platforms used for digital contracting – such as Airbnb – which are particularly important instruments for the formation of digital contracts. In describing the life-cycle of the contract, this book shows how four key technologies (digital platforms, Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain) are being used at different stages of the contractual process, from the screening for contractual partners to formation, enforcement and interpretation. Furthermore, digitally facilitated contracting increasingly relates to digital content – for instance software or search engines – as the object of the contract but while this area has notably been shaped by the proposed Directive on Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content, this work shows that important questions remain unanswered.

This book highlights how the digital dimension opens a new chapter in the concept of contracting, both questioning and revisiting many of its core concepts. It is a reliable resource on topical developments for everyone interested in digital technologies and contract law.

Stefan Grundmann is Professor of European Private Law, Transnational Law and Legal Theory at Humboldt University, Berlin and the European University Institute, Florence. He has written books and commentaries in several languages in contract law, banking law and company law, as well as in private law theory. He is President of the Society of European Contract Law.

Table of Contents

Table of contents and preliminary pages (p. 0)

Stefan Grundmann

Part I. The Overall Architecture

The Digital Dimension as a Challenge to European Contract Law - The Architecture (p. 1)

Part II. Institutional Framework - Platforms, Regulation Issues, Global Surroundings

Digital Contracts in Global Surroundings (p. 47)

Regulating Online Platforms - The Case of Airbnb (p. 87)

Crowdfunding in Europe (p. 103)

Terms of Service are Not Contracts - Beyond Contract Law in the Regulation of Online Platforms (p. 135)

Part III. Digital Formation of Contract - More Virtual and More Formalised

The E-Commerce Directive, Consumer Transactions, and the Digital Single Market - Questions of Regulatory Fitness, Regulatory Disconnection and Rule Redirection (p. 163)

Connected Contracts Reloaded - Smart Contracts as Contractual Networks (p. 205)

The Silk Road Revisited - Money Transactions Inside the Bitcoin System (p. 237)

Part IV. Development and Implementation of Contract - More Digital, More Liquid

Contracts in the Infosphere (p. 261)

Part V. Digital Objects of Contract - CESL II and More

Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content - The Proposal of the Commission for a Directive on Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content (p. 279)

Digital Content - A Digital CESL II - A Paradigm for Contract Law Via the Backdoor (p. 315)

About the series:

European Contract Law and Theory

The Society of European Contract Law (SECOLA) promotes the development and understanding of European contract law including its economic, sociological and intellectual historic relation in theory and in practice. Further, SECOLA provides an international platform for the discussion of developing and proposed contract law in Europe.

In this spirit, the book series European Contract Law and Theory (EUCOLATH) combines dogmatic thinking in comparative and EU law with strong social theory considerations and makes the results of the discussions of leading scholars and practitioners publicly available.

Editorial Board

Prof. Dr iur. Dr phil. Stefan Grundmann, LLM (Berkeley)
Professor of Private, Commercial and International Law at Humboldt-University, Berlin, and Professor of Transnational Law and Theory at the European University Institute, Florence (part-time)

Prof. Hugh Collins
Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at the London School of Economics, London, and Fellow of the British Academy

Prof. Dr Fernando Gómez Pomar
Professor of Civil Law and Law and Economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Prof. Jacobien Rutgers
Professor in Private Law and Private International Law at the Free University (VU) Amsterdam

Prof. Dr Pietro Sirena
Professor of Private Law at Bocconi University, Milan

More about this series