In Canada, emoticons and emojis have been declared acceptable as a signature on contracts and other documents by a court decision, writes The Guardian.
The precedent was set by a wholesale purchaser who planned to conclude a contract with a farmer to purchase flax. Negotiations were conducted by correspondence via the Internet. The representative of the purchaser of flax in a letter asked the farmer to confirm the contract for the purchase of goods worth more than 100 thousand dollars, at least in words, to which the farmer sent a response - an emoji in the form of a raised thumb. On a repeated request to confirm the contract for flax, a similar message came again.
Previously, contracts signed by the farmer with emoticons and emojis were always fulfilled, but this time, after the crop was harvested, the farmer sold it to another purchaser.
The wholesaler, having lost a consignment of goods, sued the farmer, presenting the correspondence as evidence of a contract for the supply of flax. The defendant stated that he put the smiley only in order to confirm that the message reached and was read. But the court decided otherwise and equated the emoji in the form of a raised thumb to consent to the supply. The verdict stated that in Canada, as in most countries of the world, a thumbs-up signifies not only approval, but also consent, and is an acceptable way to sign contracts. Thus, the farmer was sentenced to pay a penalty of 60 thousand dollars.