New consumer rules for software, streaming and game downloads

BEUC NEWS - 23.01.2019

Late last night, negotiations concluded on a new EU directive which for the first time in EU law gives consumers rights when they download digital content like software, a film or a video game or when they access online services like video or music streaming.


This directive is very good news for consumers. It means they will have specific rights like termination of the contract or the right to get the download or service fixed if it malfunctions. The directive also covers services like social media and communication apps, where consumers don’t pay with money but provide their data to access the service.

Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), said:

“Until now, consumers were in the dark about what rights they had when they tried to download software or a film, but the product or service was defective or not in line with their expectations. Once this law enters into force, consumers will have rights like asking for a replacement or ending the contract if what they purchased doesn’t deliver what was promised.”

The negotiations concluded yesterday are a provisional agreement. It will be confirmed only once there is an agreement on another file which covers tangible consumer products and products which contain software in order to function, like a smart TV. Rules concerning these products are due to be agreed in the coming weeks in a separate directive.