Position Paper on harmonised rules for the supply of digital content and online sale of goods

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content

The app industry has experienced explosive growth over recent years. In Europe alone, the number of available apps grew from 250,000 in early 2010 to 3 million by the end of 2014, and this rapid growth trajectory is showing no signs of slowing down. 

Professionalism, consistency and the best app performance are the very basis of this great success: for developers building applications that work as universally as possible is key to consumer satisfaction, however, fragmentation makes conformity a real challenge for them.

At the Apps Alliance, we believe that the European Digital Single Market Strategy has the potential to help developers by bringing harmonisation to the marketplace. Nevertheless, the recent proposal for an EU Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content[1] falls short of this goal. Certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content simply create additional requirements instead of streamlining and simplifying the European regulatory framework governing app development. The Alliance is also concerned that the proposed legislation does not adequately encourage more robust consumer satisfaction and protection measures.

 The Alliance encourages European policymakers to re-evaluate the content of the proposal in reference to different issues. To name a few, the definition of “supplier”; provisions regarding conformity; and remedies with a specific focus on termination and the retrieval of data could all use further attention. In addition, a higher level of consistency with existing legislation, further clarification of some provisions and the adoption of faster procedures should be encouraged, for the benefit of all developers, small business and digital startups.

 

[1] For further information on the proposed Directive, read here the European Commission Press Release. The Alliance Statement on the issue is published here.