Consumers’ rights against defective digital content agreed by EU lawmakers

ipad

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


People who buy or download music, apps, games or use cloud services will be better protected if a trader fails to supply the content or service or provides a defective one.

The first EU-wide “digital contracts” rules to protect consumers better were provisionally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators on Tuesday evening.

These consumer protection rights will apply in an equal manner to consumers who provide data in exchange for such content or service and to “paying” consumers alike.

What to do if something goes wrong

The agreed text lays down that:

  • in case of defective digital content or service: if it is not possible to fix it in a reasonable time, the consumer is entitled to a price reduction or a full reimbursement within 14 days,
  • if a defect becomes apparent within one year of the date of supply, it is presumed that it existed already at that time, without the need for the consumer to prove it (reversal of the burden of proof); for continuous supplies, the burden of proof remains with the trader throughout the contract,
  • the guarantee period for one-off supplies cannot be shorter than two years; for continuous supplies it should apply throughout the duration of the contract,
  • for subscriptions to digital content for a period of time, the trader may modify the content only if it’s allowed by the contract, the consumer is notified reasonably in advance and is allowed to terminate the contract within at least 30 days of notice.

Quotes

Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, DE), Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee rapporteur, said: “With the sinking cost of electronic gadgets and the growing market for Big Data and targeted marketing, companies have an increased incentive to distribute consumer electronics without charge. Some consumer electronics are sold at the manufacturing price or less. The main purpose of such “giveaways” is to monetise through collection of user-generated content. This provisional deal bolsters consumer rights and increases legal certainty. It addresses the most pressing issues that consumer contracts in the digital sphere face today, such as software updates, changes to digital content/service, and terminating long-term contracts”.

Axel Voss (EPP, DE), Legal Affairs Committee rapporteur, added: “The directive for digital contract law provides an essential legal framework for digital content within the EU. Most notably in the digital world, which is characterised by a boundless data transfer between countries, it is indispensable for a functioning European Single Market to adopt uniform rules”.

Next steps

MEPs have provisionally closed the negotiations on the digital content directive today. The agreement should be officially confirmed when a deal is reached on its “twin” proposal, the sales of goods directive, since the co-legislators decided to treat them as a package.

The provisional agreement will need to be confirmed by member states’ ambassadors (Coreper) and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Legal Affairs committees. It will then be put to a vote by the full House and submitted for approval to the EU Council of Ministers.

Background

Contracts for the supply of digital content and services are concluded every day by millions of people. Digital content covers a wide range of items, such as music, movies, apps, games and computer programmes. Digital services include, for instance, cloud computing services and social media platforms. EU data protection rules will be fully applicable in the context of these “digital contracts”.

Goods with digital elements (e.g. “smart” fridges or connected watches) are to be regulated under the directive on sales of goods, on which negotiations are ongoing.

This proposal, together with the one on the sales of tangible goods, is among the initiatives of the Digital Single Market Strategy.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Somalia advancing towards ‘inclusive and peaceful future’ for women, deputy UN chief

Investment and Financing under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): EU and Chinese stakeholders share their views at European Business Summit 2018

6 charts that show how Japan’s economy stacks up as it enters a new era

7 ways for businesses to capture the youth dividend

Iceland to take vacated US seat on Human Rights Council

China revisited by the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Eliminating waste at scale – eight opportunities for blockchain

Human Rights and Democracy: striving for dignity and equality around the world

Dignified and non-discriminatory heath care: does anyone even know what it means?

COP24: green, gender focus, as UN’s crucial climate change conference gets underway

As India’s lockdown ends, a mental health crisis is just beginning

Barriers to healthcare: are they real?

Measles ‘misinformation campaigns’ through social media, fuel rising toll

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

Hope for ‘long-elusive progress’ in negotiating peace in eastern Ukraine

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

Turning Europe into a giant wind farm could power the entire world

Global Citizen – Volunteer Internships

How Africa’s women can drive the 4IR forward

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Children Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change: UNICEF

Germany: A grand coalition may trouble employers and bankers

3 ways we are making an impact on plastic pollution

Google once more under EU crossfire from a possible record fine and new Right to be forgotten case

Fairer and clearer rules on social benefits for EU mobile workers agreed

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

Digital technology helped create the skills gap. Here’s how it can help close it

Statement by President Tajani on US steel and aluminium duties

Why your next work meeting should be a ‘walk-and-talk’

More children killed by unsafe water, than bullets, says UNICEF chief

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Although Greece is struggling to pay salaries and pensions Varoufakis is “optimistic”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015

The eighth round of TTIP negotiations concludes in Brussels amid scepticism and new fears

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €6 billion to support refugees and local communities in need fully mobilised

Tragedy of Mediterranean deaths continues, as seven drown, 57 rescued: UN migration agency

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Gulf region, more than 6,000 worldwide

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

European Fund for Transition to support more workers made redundant

The fires in the Brazilian amazon rainforest may be related to the increase in the number of hospitalizations for respiratory complications in the state of PARÁ

EU to host international donors’ conference for Albania to help with reconstruction after earthquake

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

A record one million Syrians displaced over six months, during six key battles: UN investigators

Free trade agreement between EU and India?

Europe and the tragicomic ‘black sovranismo’

The creation and maintenance of smoke-free public spaces in the UK

UN chief announces progress on committee to shape Syria’s political future

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

‘Never give up’: UN chief urges all who serve, marking UN Day

Young students envision turning Europe into an Entrepreneurial Society

Access still an obstacle to reaching stricken communities on Indonesian island: UN agencies

How one change to shipping goods could change the way we live

Croatian Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

E-cigars: Improbable ally or enemy in disguise?

Europe divided: 30 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall

Why do multinationals pay women less in developing countries?

DR Congo: ‘New waves of violence’ likely, UN warns, unless State acts to prevent intercommunal reprisals

4 big trends for the sharing economy in 2019

The Chinese spirit

Ukraine: Temperatures plunge amid rising humanitarian needs

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s