When you go online to buy a book or new music, you are entering into a contract. Contracts are fundamental to our free enterprise system. Professor of Law Peter Linzer, with the University of Houston Law Center thinks buyers need to be more aware.
“It’s gotten trickier because of computers, social media and on-line sellers like Amazon,” Linzer said. “Instead of handing over cash and getting a book, now there’s a link to a ‘take it or leave it’ contract, and you have to check ‘I accept.’ These are usually binding, whether you read them or not.”
Professor Linzer has some examples of what could be in those agreements. “Sometimes you wave a trial by jury. Sometimes it bars you from criticizing a product on Yelp,” Linzer said. “There’s a reaction building against this stuff. But the strong rule remains, if you clicked ‘I agree,’ you’re stuck.”