I sometimes use a verbal shortcut (key/value) and speak of the system creating “codified law.”  I get pushback on the phrase.  Functionally it is true that the code will act like codified law. I think it is fair to speak of the codified text as codified law.

Narrowly, “law” means statute. More broadly, it includes court decisions as understood by the profession. In the phrase “applicable law,” that often includes commercial practices that are external to the courts and legislature, under the rubric of use of trade and the like.  By contract, parties can agree to rules that supplement or even override the background law.  This is sometimes referred to as the “law of the parties.”  So I’m not alone in referring to the text of documents as law. Of course, the phrase is a shortcut, intended to remind the judiciary that it should respect contract text.  The relationship between this law of the parties and the general law is not very dissimilar from the relationship between state law and federal law in the U.S. system.  So the label is not totally abusive. 

Substantively, the label “codified law” is justified because codified documents have codified text behind them, built from components that resemble a code.  The choice of law or scope of patent license will have multiple but definite solutions, some of which will gain traction through use.  They will accumulate uses and knowledge, like other law.  Because they directly implement practical transactions, the relationship between situation and rule will be direct.

They will become stable, like law or perhaps better.

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