New digital content provisions under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
Published 18 June 2015
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 will come into force in October of this year, and will consolidate provisions from a number of areas of consumer law.
The Act will, for the first time, set out separate statutory rights and remedies for contracts in respect of "digital content", being material that is supplied in digital form, such as apps or website content as a service. To fall within the scope of the Act, digital content must be provided either for a fee, or free together with a chargeable service.
Under the Act, digital content will be treated similarly to the supply of goods, in that standards are imposed as to whether the digital content is of satisfactory quality, fit for its purpose and complies with its description. The Act includes a statutory right for consumers that the seller of the digital content (the "trader") has the right to sell the digital content. The Act also includes a right to a remedy for damage caused to a consumer's device or other digital content.
It is recommended that traders review their terms and conditions for digital content and include, for example, provisions entitling the trader to update or modify the content without the consumer's consent.
If third parties are used to supply digital content, traders should seek to ensure that the new consumer rights are provided for in the trader's agreement with such third parties.
To view the Consumer Rights Act 2015, please click here.
What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?
Companies should consider the rights that consumers will have under the new law and amend their contracts/terms and conditions accordingly.