Subject: Re: United Linux, virtual spot markets
From: "Frank BENNETT (フランク ベネット )" <bennett@nomolog.nagoya-u.ac.jp>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 18:00:12 +0900

On Thu, May 30, 2002 at 01:45:49AM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> on Thu, May 30, 2002, Tom Lord (lord@regexps.com) wrote:
> > 
> > Is there a well developed theory of "contractless exchange"?

[snip]

> > In a __contractless__ exchange, I advance you a little money.  You do
> > some of the work.  I advance you more money.  You do more
> > work. .... You finish the work.  I pay you a completion bonus.  Either
> > of us can stop at any turn without incurring a civil penalty, but
> > we're both long-term, repeat players in this market -- so our public
> > reputations matter.
> 
> Cf:  option to renew.

See "quasi-contract", "unjust enrichment", "reasonable expectations",
"implied contract".  Try searching www.findlaw.com if you want to see
a sampling of cases that raise these issues.

People can wander into arrangements that are not based on any actual
agreement.  When such happy-families arrangements blow up (as they will do
from time to time), a court faced with a complaint by one of the parties must
do the best it can, by interpreting the parties' behavior in contractual terms
and imposing a solution that fits that interpretation.

(A court's solution is likely to be imperfect, but that's nothing compared
with the societies that churn up the disputes that they are charged with
resolving.)

Frank Bennett
Nagoya
JAPAN