European Commissions’ Proposal for Contract Rules on Online Purchase of Digital Content - Statement from Catriona Meehan, Apps Alliance Director of European Policy

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Contact: Chris Grimm

Cgrimm@appalliance.org

 

European Commissions’ Proposal for Contract Rules on Online Purchase of Digital Content - Statement from Catriona Meehan, Apps Alliance Director of European Policy

Brussels (9 December, 2015) – The following is a statement from Catriona Meehan, Application Developers Alliance EU Policy Director regarding the European Commission’s proposal for a unified set of contract rules to make buying and selling digital content and tangible goods easier online and its impact on developers.

“The European Commission’s proposal on contract rules for digital content, while an important part of achieving the laudable goal of the Digital Single Market strategy, raises serious concerns for Europe’s application developers.

"The Commission's proposals are likely to lead to serious unintended consequences - not least over-regulation of Europe’s nascent app economy, which is mostly made up of small businesses. While most applications are available to users for free, the ability to make money from apps is vital for further investment in product development. But what the Commission fails to understand is that data is necessary for monetisation, but also to provide the service in the first place, improve the user experience, and ensure users' security.

We further believe that it is practically impossible for a small developer team to guarantee conformity of the app on all the different devices and operating systems available considering the fragmentation of the mobile market.

Some elements of the proposal do not seem to be ‘bug-free’ and lack familiarity with the complex business models that govern apps. Developers and publishers rely on user trust to sustain and grow their businesses and compete fiercely among themselves for that trust. If carried out, the proposed changes to contract rules for digital content will create huge legal liabilities for developers, stifling innovation and potentially damaging Europe’s app economy because developers will not be willing to take on such liabilities.” 

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The Application Developers Alliance is a non-profit global membership organisation that supports developers as creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. We promote app industry growth and advocate on behalf of our members on public policy and industry issues. The Alliance serves more than 36,000 individual members and more than 200 companies, including app publishers, platforms, wireless carriers, hardware manufacturers, ad networks, enterprise tools and service providers.