March 21, 2011

European Parliament wants to make software producers liable for defects

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Brussels, March 21st 2011 — The European Parliament wants to make software producers liable for defects. Ahead of the vote on the Consumer Rights Directive on Thursday 24 March, a political agreement amongst the groups in the European Parliament would put software and webservices providers liable for damages under the goal of providing consumer protection.

“During the software patent debate we underlined that Data processing is no field of technology”, explains FFII president Benjamin Henrion. “The physical world is different from the digital environment”. He continues: “Similar to the software patent directive, it is another piece of legislation that makes software development a much more risky business”.

“Treating software services with same rules than those applicable to sales of physical goods will have unforeseeable consequences on European digital spaces, in particular for free and open software”, says André Rebentisch from the FFII. “These broader issues should be addressed by a Digital Services Directive for better consumer protection of software, cloud and ecommerce services, for instance by reforming the 10 years old eCommerce Directive.”

On the other side, the Schwab Consumer Directive fails to solve essential issues of consumers in the digital environment such as interoperability enforcement, protection from patent threats, freedom and openness, data portability and privacy protection.

Recommendation

– request a split vote on Amendment 61 (Article 2.2a (new)) to reject the following language “and any intangible item usable in a manner which can be equated to physical possession”

Contact

FFII Office Berlin
Malmöer Str. 6
D-10439 Berlin
Fon: +49-30-41722597
Fax Service: +49-721-509663769
office at ffii.org

About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association registered in twenty European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.