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Democratic Degradation

Democratic Degradation

Replacing the Law of the State with the “Law” of the Firm

(p.33) Chapter Three Democratic Degradation
Margaret Jane Radin
Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the democratic degradation that may be caused by the apparent replacement of the law of the state with the “law” of the firm when boilerplate is deployed in mass markets. It considers mass-market boilerplate rights deletion schemes and how the widespread use of boilerplate causes democratic degradation; for example, it threatens the distinction between public and private ordering, undermines the rule of law, and erases legal rights. The chapter also examines private law, the main legal infrastructure of the liberal notion of private ordering, and copycat boilerplate. Finally, it discusses technological protection measures (TPMs) and their implications for legal infrastructure, along with measures that might help to make TPMs less problematic from the point of view of the rule of law.

Keywords:   democratic degradation, boilerplate, boilerplate rights, public ordering, private ordering, private law, technological protection measures

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