Abstract: Two major legal issues make the cross-border supply of online consumer software in the Philippines problematic: (1) the erroneous regulatory interpretation that online software contracting is a mass media activity and therefore is governed by the Constitutional requirement that the ownership and management of mass media must be limited to citizens of the Philippines or corporations, cooperative or associations, wholly owned and managed by such persons; and (2) the failure of the confl ict of laws system to provide any statutory consumer guarantees. Both of these issues must be addressed to ensure that unrestricted cross-border sale of online consumer software does not leave local consumers unprotected. This article proposes that consumer software contracting must be distinguished from traditional mass media activities based on their functional differences. This article argues that Philippine law must provide statutory consumer guarantees by considering the legislative approach in the Australian Consumer Law and the judicial approach in the Valve decisions.
Keywords: consumer software contracting; mass media; foreign ownership limitation; statutory consumer guarantees; consumer protection; choice of law
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