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What is E Contract?

Discuss about the Contract Market Maker Infrastructure.

In the present times information can be transmitted over time in a rapid manner. This has also led to the creation of an additional facility related to the electronic commerce. E commerce in the present times offers a large number of flexibility with respect to the different business environment which includes the place, time, space, distance and payment. With the recent growth in E commerce the term E contract has also come up into picture. There has been a recent advancement in E Contracts in the recent times. But, there are a significant number of challenges behind the deployment and implementation of E Contracts. In this research paper, the discussion will be done on the legality of E Contracts. In this report the comparison will be done between the formation of a contract by electronic means and its comparison with the other means. In addition to this, the crucial role which is played by the different offers which are displayed on the internal will be discussed. Further, there will be analysis of the way how offer and its acceptance can occur amidst different parties. Further, with the help of the legislation and regulatory action the same will be analyzed. In addition to this, the observations related to the problems associated with the same will be analyzed.

One of the most common contracts in the present times which is widely used in the world is the E contract.  E contract is the kind of contract which has been actually modeled, specified, executed and deployed with the help of the software systems. E contracts are the ones which are generally very much similar in comparison to the traditional contracts. Under the same, the online vendors present different products, prices and terms to different buyers. The buyers which look around for online shopping, consider the options put forward by the vendors, negotiate with them on the prices and terms, place the order and make the payments (Kwok et al, 2008). After this the purchased products are delivered to the customer. As a result of the different ways, the traditional contract may differ from an E contract. In addition to this, it can also cause some of the technical challenges as well (Teveler & Kaydanov, 2001). In order to do the recognition of E contracts, it is important to do the consideration of some of the questions such as the validity of the contract, the details of the goods and services, legal validations of the contract and the legal standards which have been employed by them.

Differences between E contract and Normal contract

Though, there is not much of a change in case of E Contract and the normal contract, but there is a huge different in their forms:

  • Firstly, the environment is different for both the contracts. On one hand the tradition contract actually take place in the real world. In the same, the two different sides can deal with one another in the consultation which is conducted face to face. In case of an electronic contract the same can happen in the virtual space and the two companies who are signing the contract may not even meet with one another. The identity of the companies is to be dependent on the password authentication (Daskalopulu & Maibaum, 2001).
  • The different kinds of contracts may enter into the different aspects which are related to the change. The different offers may be there at the time of dispatch and receipt of the contract which in traditional contract the formation and composition of the contract entry may be different.
  • The form of the contract is different in both. While Electronic contract information is contained in the form of the data, there may not be any kind of distinction between the originals and the copies can’t be signed using traditional methods (Daskalopulu et al, 2002).
  • The electronic performance and the complexity related to the payment is much more high in case of the traditional contract.

There are several laws related to the recognition of E Contracts which includes the following:

Offer: As per this law, there is recognition of the contract which can be formed with the help of the facsimile, telex and any similar kind of technology. Under this contract, there is an agreement between different parties. This agreement is legally valid if and only if it satisfies the required law which may be considered to be important behind its formation. This means that the parties are required to create contract formally and primarily. The intention of the same can be viewed by checking the compliance of the offer with the three most prominent cornerstones including the offer, acceptance and consideration (Sallé, 2002). One of the earliest steps which can be used in the formation of the E contract actually lies in the arrival at a given agreement. This agreement is done between the different parties by the means of the offer and the acceptance. The website which does the advertisement may constitute or it may not. When an offer is for the unspecified person, there is a probability that the same may be a invitation for treat. The test is relation to the intention which specifies if the person is intended to be bounded by the legal procedures or not. Whenever the different consumers give the response through the E mail by filling any online form which is actually build in the web page, they actually constitute an offer. The seller can accept such a kind of offer either with the help of the express confirmation or with the help of the conduct (Griffel et al, 1997).

It is very important to have the unequivocal and unconditional communication for the purpose of acceptance in case of the offer. This is important for the purpose of creation of the valid E contract (Tan,2000). One of the critical issues may come up when the acceptance may take the effect for the determination related to the existence of the contract. The general rule states that any kind of acceptance may be effective whenever it is received. In case of the contracting there is not a settlement of any kind of conclusive rule. The rule of communication which may be application actually is dependent on the reasonable certainty which is regarding the reception of the certain message. Whenever the different parties have the direct connection without any server, they also have the better idea about the failure or the partial receipt which may be related to the message. This kind of party which may realize the fault is required to do the request for re-transmission (Xu, 2003). This is because; an acceptance is valid only when it is received. Whenever there is a requirement of the common server, it is very crucial to have the actual point related to the receipt for the purpose of acceptance. This is useful in making the decision related to the jurisdiction in which the E-contract is created, In case, the server is the trusted server, the partial rule may be actually applicable. Though, in case the server isn’t a trusted one, there may be an uncertainty which may be related to the rule of the E Mail. Though, it is not as per the postal rule (Kunz et al, 2003). Whenever there is presumption that the arrival at the server is not sufficient, the ‘receipt at the mail box’ rule is given a higher preference.

Recognition of E contract

A contract is something which can be applicable online if there is a promise related to the exchange of something in return. This something is known as the consideration. The present rule which may be related to the consideration can be actually applied to the E-Contracts. This is actually the concern which is there among the different consumers related to the Transitional security which may be there over the internet (Sandholm et al, 1995). The E-Directive which may be there on the distance selling may help in the overall generation of the confidence with the help of minimization of the abuse which is done by the purchasers and the suppliers. This specifies the following:

First, it includes the list consisting of the key points. There are required to be supplied to the consumer in a completely clear and the proper manner.

Second, there is a requirement to have the written confirmation or the confirmation in another durable medium which may be available and accessible by the consumer and consists of some of the principle points.

Third, it includes the right of withdrawal which may enable the different consumers to avoid the different deals which may be entered in the inadvertently or without having a proper or the sufficient knowledge (Need, 2006). It also provides a cooling period of around seven days.

Fourth, includes the performance which is required to be delivered within the thirty days or unless it is properly agreed.

Fifth, it includes the proper reimbursement of the sums which may be lost in the fraud use of the credit cards. It also leads to the risk related to the fraud on the credit card company.

Sixth, there is also the need for the protection of the sellers from rogue purchases. For the same, there is the provision related to the charge back clauses and there is also an encouragement of the pre-payment by the different buyers which is actually recommended.


Liability and the damages: The party which gives the commitment related to the breach of a given agreement may face different types of liabilities which may be there under the contract law. Because of the nature which has actually been exhibited by the system and also due to the networks which are employed by the different businesses for the conduction of the E commerce, the different parties may also find themselves actually liable for the contracts which may actually be originated with them. But as the result of the different errors due to the programming the employee may make different mistakes or does the execution of the misconducts. The same is released without having an actual intent or the proper authority from the party (Daskalopulu & Maibaum, 2001).

Acceptance

Digital Signature: As stated by the section 2 P of the IT Act 2000, it has been defined that the digital signatures is actually the authentication of any kind of record which is created in an electronic manner by the subscriber in an electronic manner (Ludwig et al, 2003). A digital signature is something which actually acts as the signature for the electronic documents. The signature is something which is an unforgivable piece of data. The receipt of the message which is digitally signed can be used to verify the information related to the sender and the receiver.

There are different methods which can be implemented for the purpose of termination of the offer. This can be done by different methods such as revocation and rejection. In order to do the revocation of the offer, it is important that there should be the proper communication to the different parties that the offer is not available anymore. Rejection of the offer can be done when the offer actually comes to the end (Marjanovic et al, 2001). It can be stated that there may be a condition in which the counter offer may terminate the original offer.

Conclusion

In the present times, each and every thing is being controlled by the internet.  Internet has largely proved to be one of the most dominating sources in the world for each and everything. Also, with the recent advancement in a number of areas including the computer technology, telecommunication technology, software and internet, there is also an observation of change in the standard of living enjoyed by the people in a unique manner. The communication amidst different people is not any restriction anymore even if there is a constraint of geography and time. E contract plays an important role in the same. Thus, it can be concluded that the E contract is a valid contract which can be used for E commerce. In this report, the discussion has been done on the E contract. The differences of the same with the traditional contract has been discussed and analyzed. Further, the recognition of the contract has been discussed by conducting an analysis of offer and acceptance. In addition to this, the consideration and the performance of the contract have been discussed.

References

Kwok, T., Nguyen, T. and Lam, L., 2008, July. A software as a service with multi-tenancy support for an electronic contract management application. InServices Computing, 2008. SCC'08. IEEE International Conference on (Vol. 2, pp. 179-186). IEEE.

Teveler, E. and Kaydanov, V., 2001. Electronic contract broker and contract market maker infrastructure. U.S. Patent Application 09/788,417.

Daskalopulu, A. and Maibaum, T., 2001. Towards electronic contract performance. In Database and Expert Systems Applications, 2001. Proceedings. 12th International Workshop on (pp. 771-777). IEEE.

Daskalopulu, A., Dimitrakos, T. and Maibaum, T., 2002. Evidence-based electronic contract performance monitoring. Group decision and negotiation,11(6), pp.469-485.

Sallé, M., 2002, May. Electronic contract framework for contractual agents. In Conference of the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence (pp. 349-353). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Griffel, F., Tu, M.T., Munke, M., Merz, M., Lamersdorf, W. and Da Silva, M.M., 1997, October. Electronic contract negotiation as an application niche for mobile agents. In Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Workshop [1997]. EDOC'97. Proceedings. First International (pp. 354-365). IEEE.

Tan, Y.H. and Thoen, W., 2000. DocLog: an electronic contract representation language. In Database and Expert Systems Applications, 2000. Proceedings. 11th International Workshop on (pp. 1069-1073). IEEE.

Xu, L., 2003, June. Monitorable Electronic Contract. In CEC (p. 92).

Kunz, C.L., Ottaviani, J.E., Ziff, E.D., Moringiello, J.M., Porter, K.M. and Debrow, J.C., 2003. Browse-Wrap Agreements: Validity of Implied Assent in Electronic Form Agreements. The Business Lawyer, 59(1), pp.279-312.

Sandholm, T. and Lesser, V.R., 1995, June. Issues in automated negotiation and electronic commerce: Extending the contract net framework. In ICMAS(Vol. 95, pp. 12-14).

Need, W.C.D.H.P., 2006. Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.

Ludwig, H., Keller, A., Dan, A., King, R. and Franck, R., 2003. A service level agreement language for dynamic electronic services. Electronic Commerce Research, 3(1-2), pp.43-59.

Marjanovic, O. and Milosevic, Z., 2001. Towards formal modeling of e-Contracts. In Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference, 2001. EDOC'01. Proceedings. Fifth IEEE International (pp. 59-68). IEEE.

Daskalopulu, A. and Maibaum, T., 2001. Towards electronic contract performance. In Database and Expert Systems Applications, 2001. Proceedings. 12th International Workshop on (pp. 771-777). IEEE.

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