The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (‘CISG’) is an international sales law treaty concluded in 1980. Given its vintage, the CISG was drafted with traditional (physical) goods trade in mind. A significant body of scholarship has addressed the CISG’s capacity to govern electronic software transactions. However, only limited commentary has explored its digital application beyond software per se. This article develops a specific legal framework for assessing the CISG’s capacity to regulate international trade in non-software data: a framework so far missing from existing scholarship. ‘To Boldly Go, Part II’, this article’s counterpart, will go on to apply this framework to non-software data trade. Collectively, these articles establish that the CISG is capable of governing not only software trade (as previously established) but also trade in non-software data: a category of trade becoming increasingly economically important.
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