Clicking Away Your Speech Rights: The Enforceability of Gagwrap Clauses Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Software companies would like to be able to control what their customers and reviewers can say about them and their software. To this end, many include in their license agreements “DeWitt” or “gagwrap” clauses which purport to prevent written reviews or disclosure of benchmark test results involving the software without the manufacturer's consent. While the courts have recognized the enforceability of software licenses to protect manufacturers, they have so far not addressed the enforceability of gagwrap clauses. This article examines gagwrap clauses and examines them in a public policy framework arising from contract and First Amendment jurisprudence. It proposes a test for the enforceability of the clauses that leaves in place many agreements not to speak but renders gagwrap clauses suspect on public policy grounds.

author list (cited authors)

  • Belmas, G. I., & Larson, B. N.

publication date

  • December 2007
  • January 1, 2007 11:11 AM