Members' Research Service By / October 9, 2017

Contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services [EU Legislation in Progress]

The digital content directive was proposed by the European Commission as part of a legislative package, alongside the online sales directive, to facilitate the development of the internal market for such content.

© anueing / Fotolia

Written by Nikolina Šajn (6th edition, updated on 15.07.2019),

Electronic circuit on hand shaking on blue background
© anueing / Fotolia

The directive on contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services, proposed by the European Commission in 2015, harmonises some private-law aspects of such contracts at EU level for the first time. The directive will not fully harmonise the duration of legal guarantees for digital content and services, but national laws will not be allowed limit it to less than two years. For the first year from delivery, the burden of proof will be on the supplier. Traders will be required to provide necessary updates. The directive will also establish what remedies consumers are entitled to and the order in which they can be used. Although the European Parliament proposed that the directive should cover embedded digital content as well, following negotiations with the Council, the co-legislators agreed that such content will be regulated by the new directive on sale of goods. The directive on contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services was formally signed into law in May 2019 and Member States have to apply its measures from 1 January 2022.


Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content
Committee responsible: Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and Legal Affairs (JURI) (jointly) COM(2015)634 of 9.12.2015

procedure ref.: 2015/0287(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure

Co-rapporteurs: Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, Germany)
and Axel Voss (EPP, Germany)
Shadow rapporteurs: Eva Maydell (EPP, BG)
Virginie Rozière (S&D, FR)
Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK)
Angel Dzhambazki (ECR, BG)
Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, FR)
Kaja Kallas (ALDE, EE)
Dennis de Jong (EUL/NGL, NL)
Jiří Maštálka (EUL/NGL, CZ)
Julia Reda (Greens/EFA, DE)
Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT)
Marco Zullo (EFDD, IT)
Procedure completed.
Directive (EU) 2019/770
OJ L 136, 22.5.2019, pp. 1-27


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  • speed up, I am working on my final essay on the topic of contracts for the supply of digital content:D

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