Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 43. Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act

Part 3. Construction.

§ 59.1-503.1. Parol or extrinsic evidence.

Terms with respect to which confirmatory records of the parties agree or which are otherwise set forth in a record intended by the parties as a final expression of their agreement with respect to terms included therein may not be contradicted by evidence of any previous agreement or of a contemporaneous oral agreement but may be explained or supplemented by:

(1) course of performance, course of dealing, or usage of trade; and

(2) evidence of consistent additional terms, unless the court finds the record to have been intended as a complete and exclusive statement of the terms of the agreement.

2000, cc. 101, 996.

§ 59.1-503.2. Practical construction.

(a) The express terms of an agreement and any course of performance, course of dealing, or usage of trade must be construed whenever reasonable as consistent with each other. However, if that construction is unreasonable:

(1) express terms prevail over course of performance, course of dealing, and usage of trade;

(2) course of performance prevails over course of dealing and usage of trade; and

(3) course of dealing prevails over usage of trade.

(b) An applicable usage of trade in the place where any part of performance is to occur must be used in interpreting the agreement as to that part of the performance.

(c) Evidence of a relevant course of performance, course of dealing, or usage of trade offered by one party in a proceeding is not admissible unless and until the party offering the evidence has given the other party notice that the court finds sufficient to prevent unfair surprise.

(d) The existence and scope of a usage of trade must be proved as facts.

2000, cc. 101, 996.

§ 59.1-503.3. Modification and rescission.

(a) An agreement modifying a contract subject to this chapter needs no consideration to be binding.

(b) An authenticated record that precludes modification or rescission except by an authenticated record may not otherwise be modified or rescinded. In a standard form supplied by a merchant to a consumer, a term requiring an authenticated record for modification of the contract is not enforceable unless the consumer manifests assent to the term.

(c) A modification of a contract and the contract as modified must satisfy the requirements of §§ 59.1-502.1 (a) and 59.1-503.7 (f) if the contract as modified is within those provisions.

(d) An attempt at modification or rescission which does not satisfy subsection (b) or (c) may operate as a waiver if § 59.1-507.2 is satisfied.

2000, cc. 101, 996.

§ 59.1-503.4. Continuing contractual terms.

(a) Terms of an agreement involving successive performances apply to all performances, even if the terms are not displayed or otherwise brought to the attention of a party with respect to each successive performance, unless the terms are modified in accordance with this chapter or the contract.

(b) If a contract provides that terms may be changed as to future performances by compliance with a described procedure, a change proposed in good faith pursuant to that procedure becomes part of the contract if the procedure:

(1) reasonably notifies the other party of the change; and

(2) in a mass-market transaction, permits the other party to terminate the contract as to future performance if the change alters a material term and the party in good faith determines that the modification is unacceptable.

(c) The parties by agreement may determine the standards for reasonable notice unless the agreed standards are manifestly unreasonable in light of the commercial circumstances.

(d) The enforceability of changes made pursuant to a procedure that does not comply with subsection (b) is determined by the other provisions of this chapter or other law.

2000, cc. 101, 996.

§ 59.1-503.5. Terms to be specified.

An agreement that is otherwise sufficiently definite to be a contract is not invalid because it leaves particulars of performance to be specified by one of the parties. If particulars of performance are to be specified by a party, the following rules apply:

(1) Specification must be made in good faith and within limits set by commercial reasonableness.

(2) If a specification materially affects the other party's performance but is not seasonably made, the other party:

(A) is excused for any resulting delay in its performance; and

(B) may perform, suspend performance, or treat the failure to specify as a breach of contract.

2000, cc. 101, 996.

§ 59.1-503.6. Performance under open terms.

A performance obligation of a party that cannot be determined from the agreement or from other provisions of this chapter requires the party to perform in a manner and in a time that is reasonable in light of the commercial circumstances existing at the time of agreement.

2000, cc. 101, 996.

§ 59.1-503.7. Interpretation and requirements for grant.

(a) A license grants:

(1) the contractual rights that are expressly described; and

(2) a contractual right to use any informational rights within the licensor's control at the time of contracting which are necessary in the ordinary course to exercise the expressly described rights.

(b) If a license expressly limits use of the information or informational rights, use in any other manner is a breach of contract. In all other cases, a license contains an implied limitation that the licensee will not use the information or informational rights otherwise than as described in subsection (a). However, use inconsistent with this implied limitation is not a breach if it is permitted under applicable law in the absence of the implied limitation.

(c) A party is not entitled to any rights in new versions of, or improvements or modifications to, information made by the other party. A licensor's agreement to provide new versions, improvements, or modifications requires that the licensor provide them as developed and made generally commercially available from time to time by the licensor.

(d) Neither party is entitled to receive copies of source code, schematics, master copy, design material, or other information used by the other party in creating, developing, or implementing the information.

(e) Terms concerning scope must be construed under ordinary principles of contract interpretation in light of the informational rights and the commercial context. In addition, the following rules apply:

(1) A grant of "all possible rights and for all media" or "all rights and for all media now known or later developed," or a grant in similar terms, includes all rights then existing or later created by law and all uses, media, and methods of distribution or exhibition, whether then existing or developed in the future and whether or not anticipated at the time of the grant.

(2) A grant of an "exclusive license," or a grant in similar terms, means that:

(A) for the duration of the license, the licensor will not exercise, and will not grant to any other person, rights in the same information or informational rights within the scope of the exclusive grant; and

(B) the licensor affirms that it has not previously granted those rights in a contract in effect when the licensee's rights may be exercised.

(f) The rules in this section may be varied only by a record that is sufficient to indicate that a contract has been made and that is:

(1) authenticated by the party against whom enforcement is sought; or

(2) prepared and delivered by one party and adopted by the other under § 59.1-502.8 or § 59.1-502.9.

2000, cc. 101, 996; 2004, c. 794.

§ 59.1-503.8. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 794.

§ 59.1-503.9. Agreement for performance to party's satisfaction.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b), an agreement that provides that the performance of one party is to be to the satisfaction or approval of the other party requires performance sufficient to satisfy a reasonable person in the position of the party that must be satisfied.

(b) Performance must be to the subjective satisfaction of the other party if:

(1) the agreement expressly so provides, such as by stating that approval is in the "sole discretion" of the party, or words of similar import; or

(2) the agreement is for informational content to be evaluated in reference to subjective characteristics such as aesthetics, appeal, suitability to taste, or subjective quality.

2000, cc. 101, 996.

§ 59.1-503.10. Licenses to nonprofit libraries, archives or educational institutions.

(a) To the extent that the conduct is not otherwise unlawful or restricted under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., or other law, in a standard form contract for the use of a tangible copy of informational content to a licensee that is a nonprofit library or archive or a nonprofit educational institution, the licensee may, without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage:

(1) make the tangible copy available to library or archive users, including but not limited to reserving the copy for a course and lending that copy to users in accordance with ordinary practices of nonprofit libraries or archives;

(2) make a copy of the tangible copy for archival or preservation purposes;

(3) engage in inter-library lending of tangible copies of the copy; and

(4) make classroom and instructional use of the tangible copy.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) may be varied by a term in a standard form contract only if:

(1) the term varying the provision is conspicuous;

(2) the nonprofit library, archive or educational institution specifically manifests assent to the term pursuant to subsection (c) of § 59.1-501.12; and

(3) where the term is not made available to the nonprofit library, archive or educational institution before it orders the tangible copy of the computer information:

(i) the nonprofit library, archive or educational institution knew or had reason to know that terms would follow when it ordered the copy; and

(ii) the nonprofit library, archive or educational institution is given the right to return the copy in the event that it refuses the contract and the right to be reimbursed for any reasonable expenses incurred in complying with the licensor's instructions for returning or destroying the computer information, or in the absence of such instructions, the reimbursement of expenses incurred for return postage or similar reasonable expense in returning the computer information.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to:

(1) alter the burden of proof in an infringement, contract or other action;

(2) authorize making the informational content available on a computer network server or other system for simultaneous access and use by multiple users; or

(3) limit any defense that a term of a contract violates a fundamental public policy pursuant to § 59.1-501.5 including any such policy under the federal copyright law.

(d) For purposes of this section, the terms "nonprofit library, archive or educational institution" have the same meaning as used in sections 108, 109 and 110 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 108, 109, and 110.

2001, c. 763.

§ 59.1-503.11. Reserved.