EU-wide rules protecting people who buy digital content across borders today cleared an important hurdle today in the European Parliament.
The legislation will introduce safeguards for consumers purchasing a wide range of content, from music and video games to anti-virus software, from another EU country. This should translate into increased consumer confidence in the European market place and simplify arrangements for businesses.
Conservative MEPs voted for the report at today's meeting of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee, having secured some important changes, including the exclusion of many free apps from having to follow the same rules as paid for content providers.
Consumer Protection spokesman Daniel Dalton MEP said: "Some countries, such as the UK, already have robust digital goods rules and their consumer rights regimes are explicitly protected in these proposals. However, other Member States don't have any, which leads to legal uncertainty and practical problems for consumers when things go wrong.
"This legislation means people would have guaranteed rights whichever country they purchased their digital goods from.
"Businesses would benefit from greater certainty and a reduction in red tape, being able to supply consumers throughout the EU on the same set of contract rules."
Under the proposals someone purchasing and downloading digital content which then does not work properly can ask for the problem to be fixed. If this is not possible or completed in a reasonable time, they would be entitled to a price reduction or full refund within 14 days.
The report will now be considered by the full European Parliament.