What is an E-Contract

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Internet is a new way of life that has undoubtedly joined almost every aspect of life. The number of tasks which can be performed daily with the help of internet. From online exams to online classes, meetings, webinars to electronic contracts has become a new normal. The emergence of globalisation has become an important basis for the growth of technology and gave rise to this era.

The use of internet is not only limited up to the communication or socialising, but online contracts are in trend now and as a result, there lies no difference between online and offline contracts. Online contracts are also contracts and all the rules that are needed for the formation of a contract will always apply.  The online contract formation uses a communication technology which includes a lot of mediators such as Internet Services providers. The entire contract can be  completed within a few seconds, that is why both the parties simply attach their digital signatures to an electronic copy of the contract that they are entering into an electronic contract/contract. There is no need for waiting for replies through couriers or travelling to the other party. There was initially a delay made by the legislature to accept this modern form of technology, but now most of the countries have passed lws to accept electronic contracts.

An E-contract is a kind of contract formed in the course of e-commerce by the exchange of two parties using electronic means, such as e-mail, faxes, etc. The interaction of an individual should  happen with an electronic agent, such as computer programme, websites, or an exchange of at least two electronic agents that are organised to allow the existence of an e-contract.

An E-contract is a contract shaped, specific, executed and expanded by a software system.
There are two main parties to an e-contract, the originator and the addressee. An originator states that it is a person who sends, generates, stores or transmits any electronic message to be sent, generated or transmitted to some other person and does not include any intermediary, as per the IT Act, 2008. An Addressee sates that it is a person who is intended by the originator, to receive the electronic record, but does not include any intermediary, as per the IT Act, 2008.
E- contracts are mainly of three types, i.e. (i) Shrink Wrap-Agreement, is mainly a licensing agreement used for the software puchases.

(ii) Click Wrap Agreements, is an agreement which comes into existence when an online user click on the “I AGREE” button on webpage.

(iii) Browse Wrap Agreement, may also be called an agreement which is to be binding on two or more parties through the use of a website.

Other type of online agreements consists of contracts for consultants, employees, contractors, sales and resale agreements, distributors, software developers and licensing agreement.