James Boyle on term extension

Posted by Suw Charman on Nov 17th, 2006

James Boyle examines term extension in his Financial Times article, Breaking the Deal:

I hired an artist to paint a portrait. I offered $500. He agreed. We had a deal. He painted the painting. I liked it. I gave him the money. A few years later he returned. “You owe me another $450” he said.

We looked at the contract. “But you agreed to paint it for $500 and I paid you that amount.” He admitted this was true, but pointed out that painters in other countries sometimes received higher amounts, as did sculptors in our own country. In fact, he told me, all British painters planned to demand another $450 for each picture they had already painted as well as for future pictures. This would “harmonise” our prices with other countries, put painting on the same footing as sculpture, and enable painters to hire more apprentices.

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