Bilateral Contract Requires
A bilateral contract requires that both parties take part in performing certain obligations within the contractual agreement, even if the time of performance may not be the same. According to Frederick (2000), a unilateral contract is on the other hand characterized by one party performing his obligation at the time when the contract is made, while the other party is required to perform on a future date. For example, if James promises to sell a house to Ann for $5000 and Ann promises to pay $5000 for the house, such a contract can be said to be bilateral, as it will be executed from both sides.
On the other hand, if Ann promises to pay $5000 only afters James hands the house over to her, and James does that, this kind of a contract will be termed as a unilateral contract. It therefore means that, once Ann offers to buy the house from James, then the bilateral kind of a contract will have been enforced, but the unilateral contract will become enforceable when when Ann puts the offer of buying the house to James and James accepts the offer.
There are two different types of contracts. The most commonly used is the
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The unilateral contract is advantageous to the offeror, where after he makes the offer he requires that the offeree performs his part instead of just making a promise, and it is only after the offeree performs his part, that the offeror delivers his part of the contract. Where the act that is requested is complete, that is when the unilateral contract is formed. This kind of arrangement is more common in certain commercial practices such as a reward advertisement, or where a person demands that money should first be exchanged before they can give out some confidential business information. This kind of agreement therefore favors the offerer where he is assured that he will receive his part of benefit from the contract even before he performs on his part.
According to Frederick (2000), the bilateral contract is most commonly used in many of the business transactions. This contract is preferred where both parties have a mutual understanding and both exchange promises which bind them in the contractual agreement. This contractual arrangement is advantageous to both the offeror and the offeree due to the fact that, all the parties are obligated to give their promises at the same time, upon which they are both supposed to perform. If one party therefore fails to perform, he is required to pay damages to the other party. The sale of goods contract is one of the good examples of a bilateral contract.
The bilateral contract is therefore the most common due to the fact that, it involves both parties in giving promises at the beginning of the agreement, and there is a mutual understanding which creates confidence and security on both sides. The unilateral contract though not common, is necessary in some business dealings where an offerror requires that the offeree performs before he discharges his part of the contract, due to security reasons especially on issues where confidential information is being exchanged for a certain consideration.
The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1898, is commonly known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. Before the enactment of this Act, the 1978 Copyright Act gave a protection period of the whole life of the author and more 50 years after the death of the author, where a work is for a corporate authorship, the period of extension is 75 years. Michael (2000) posited that, the new Sonny Bono Act has extended the terms of protection for the life of the individual author work to 75 years and for corporate authorship work to 120 years after the time of creating the work.
Any copyright work that was published before 1st January 1978, is also to be affected by the provisions of the new Act, as their period of protection was increased by 20 years, and for publication an addition of 95 years was stated. The new law completely froze the dates of advancement for public domain, that are in the United States for any of the works which are covered by the copyright rules that are under the old fixed term.
The works that were made before 1923 and which were still protected by the 1998 Act were protected from getting into the public domain up to the year 2090, or any of the years that may follow. This protection would however end, if the owner of the copyright decided to take the work to the public domain before the end of time, the period may also extend if more extension was granted.
Scholars have argued that, it was indeed important to extend the period of copyright protection in order to promote useful arts and design progress. The supporters of this thought have emphasized that, the effort of an original author can only be given the proper reward by allowing the person enough time to enjoy his invention, and by adding more security by extending the protection period even after his death. It has therefore been looked as a way of encouraging people to come up with new designs and inventions due to the long period, through which a person may enjoy his exclusive rights of use and as a result get the best rewards.
The other school of thought has stated that, the long period extended by the Sony Bono Act is not necessary to encourage any more inventions and creations of Artistic work than would have been done under the 1978 Act. According to Michael (2000), many reasons have been given to critique the extension period provided under the Sony Bono Act. Some of the reasons given against the the long period of copyright protection include the statement that, the prolonged period does not add any value to the author due to the fact that, most of the authors are dead.
Researchers have also expressed that, the long period does not encourage any arts work because the work that is already invented is qualified for a long period of time and can therefore be in use without need to look for new art work, this is in fact a discouraging factor to the artistic researchers.
Critiques have also argued that, the Sony Bono Act will discourage artwork because it prevents the entrance of any work into the market and into the public domain. The long duration is not reasonable as it has contradicted the constitutional interpretation which states that, copyright will be given for a limited duration of time. A period as long as 75 years and 120 years, defeats the meaning of a limited period of time and hence the provision is unconstitutional.
The excess period of protection granted has been said to be inappropriate as it even makes worse the difficulty of locating the right holders of the copyright in the future. The extension term has also been disapproved as one that will create more problems of finding work, because of the limits put forward by the exclusive rights of the copyright holders.
From the above foregoing, the extension period provided by the Sony Bono Act defeats the limitation of time that should be accorded to a copyright holder. There is need to limit the protection period so as to encourage more people including those who are already protected by the copyright Act to go back to the field and come up with new artwork if they are to realize more benefits of exclusive ownership. The period is therefore not necessary in the promotion of artwork and any other form of invention (Michael, 2000).
Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code provides for the perfect tender rule. The perfect tender rule has been used in the commercial transaction field, where a buyer of goods is allowed to reject the goods send by the seller, if the delivery tender or the goods themselves do not conform to the provisions of the contract in any way. The perfect tender rule also provides that, apart from just rejecting the goods, the buyer may also have a right to damages that may have been incurred due to inconveniences that may have been experienced in such a transaction.
Due to the growth of the e-commerce as a method of selling goods, the federal and state laws have been applied in the the Internet commercial transactions as a way of regulating business dealings that are conducted through the Internet. According to Khosrow, (2000), the increased use of Internet sale transactions has created a situation where many goods are bought and sold through many of the storefronts on line. The Internet has created new methods of conducting commerce such as the eBay site, that is commonly used for commercial transactions. In looking for the application of the tender rule in the world of Internet, it is important to first understand the nature of the rule so as to determine its effectiveness in the e commerce.
The emergence and development of Internet sale of goods has had an impact on the perfect tender rule which is commonly applied in the normal sale of goods transactions. Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code has its provision of the perfect tender rule eliminated and replaced by the UCITA, in the e commerce transactions. The Uniform Commercial Code was initially intended to replace the whole of the Uniform Commercial Code. The Act is applicable in most of the states within the U.S where consistent rules are observed in the area of contract law.
The Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act regulates the licensing and sale of data base, computer software, multi media, on line information and any other form of intellectual property, which come in the electronic form. UCITA which has had a lot of impact in the e commerce is also referred to as the general commerce statute for the cyberspace. This legislation has been accepted and passed in 15 of the federal states and the Columbia District.
The Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act completely rejects and eliminates the perfect tender rule in the commercial licensing. Researchers have argued that, one of the major problem of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code is that, it demands that goods which are to be delivered must conform to the terms of a contract. In the world of Internet and especially in software, it is had to produce software as a perfect product, software is recognized to be having bugs most of the time.
The Uniform Commercial Code Act has therefore stated that, the application of the perfect tender rule in certain circumstances is not effective and may lead to misunderstandings in the world of business. The Uniform Commercial Code Act has in effect completely eliminated the perfect tender rule and has replaced it with the substantial conformance standard.
It is however important to note that, though the perfect tender rule has been eliminated in the transaction of software through the Internet, as a result of its inefficiency in determining the standards of software that may be delivered, the perfect tender rule is still applicable in commercial transactions and has been retained by the Uniform Commercial Code Act in business transactions which involve consumers.
Khosrow (2000) posited that, the perfect tender rule is an important tool in the protection of the consumer interest both in the normal sale of goods and in the Internet transactions. The rule ensures that a buyer gets the exact goods that he ordered for from the seller as per the provisions of the contract. Where goods do no conform to the specific terms of the contract, the buyer has the right to reject the goods and even ask for damages. The rule however has not been applicable in the sale of software due to the fact that, most of software products have bugs and cannot be perfectly matching with the requirements of the contract. In the electronic transactions however, the perfect tender rule has been retained in transactions which involve the sale of consumer goods.
Frederick, P. (2000). Principles of Contract at Law and in Equity: Being a Treatise on the General Principles Concerning the Validity of Agreements, with a Special View to the Comparison of Law and Equity. Original from Oxford University.
Khosrow, P. (2000). Challenges of Information Technology Management in the 21st Century: 2000 Information Resources Management Association International Conference, Anchorage. Published by Idea Group Inc (IGI), 2000.
Michael, P. (2000). Copyright Law of the United States of America: And Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code. United States: Published by Library of Congress, Copyright Office,