The Latvian Сourt Has Recognized the 'Like' as Written Consent
The Riga Regional Court has ruled that the 'Thumbs Up' emoji can be interpreted as officially granted written consent.
This was reported by the Delfi publication.
The court considered a dispute between an employee and an employer regarding wrongful termination. In particular, the case materials mentioned that the employer informed employees of the need to 'perform their duties at the workplace on Wednesdays' - for which he wrote a corresponding message on the corporate Slack platform. The plaintiff reacted to the message with a 'thumbs up' emoji. In the court's opinion, such a reaction signified written consent.
In its decision, the court relies on Article 1505 of the Civil Code, which states that 'in case of doubt about the meaning of words, the meaning and intent expressed or otherwise manifested by the parties to the legal act should be taken into account.' Additionally, the court relied on the Cambridge Dictionary, which interprets the word 'emoji' as 'acknowledgment of something.' Furthermore, the court believes that the plaintiff could not have been unaware of the meaning of this reaction to the message.
Recall that a similar court decision was made in Canada in July of this year. At that time, the court established that the 'thumbs up' emoji can confirm the fact that a person formally enters into a contract.
A farmer from Saskatchewan, Canada, who was involved in flax supply, was discussing the delivery of a new batch with a customer. After that, the buyer sent a draft contract to the farmer via messenger, to which he received a response in the form of a 'thumbs up' emoji.
Later, the flax was not delivered on time, as the farmer expected the contract to be sent by email in order to have the opportunity to review the terms in more detail and sign it. The farmer argued that the emoji simply confirmed that he received the flax contract, but did not mean that he agreed to the terms of the agreement. However, the court interpreted the emoji as a digital signature. The judge emphasized that the emoji is considered not only as an 'unconventional way of signing a contract, but also allows to identify the signer, as he did it from his phone.
Subsequently, the farmer was ordered to compensate for damages in the amount of 82,200 Canadian dollars, approximately 61,000 US dollars.