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Downloading Digital Content

For the first time, from 1st October 2015 under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 suppliers of digital content must have the right to do so and will be required to ensure that such content is of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. So the same statutory rights that you have when you buy goods will now also apply to any digital content that you download.

Prior to 1st October 2015, it was often a grey area whenever digital content was downloaded, as to whether to classify it as “goods” or “services”. Both the SGA and the SGSA did not make provision for this. The new Consumer Rights Act now differentiates digital content from goods and services, and so has resolved this once grey area. The new Consumer Rights Act has clarified this, and will allow you the right to the remedy of repair or replacement (or indeed a price reduction) if any digital content downloaded is faulty.

For example if you paid to download a popular TV series which was described as containing all 18 episodes. However when you download it you found that the final episode was missing.  In such a case, under the Consumer Rights Act, the provider of the digital content would be in breach of the CRA as the digital content was not as described. Under the Act you would be entitled to a repair or replacement of the digital content, in order to bring it in line with the description. In this case, the appropriate remedy would be to download the final episode.

In addition, you will also be able to claim “damages” for any loss/damage that you incur as a result of downloading any faulty/defective digital content.

For example, if you bought an app which organised all your music files, and having downloaded the app and installed it, rather than organising all of my music files, you found that rather than organising all of your files, it deleted them all.

In such a case, if you were able to show that the damage was caused by the app itself and that the damage would not have arisen if the trader had used reasonable care and skill, then the supplier of the digital content would be responsible to either repair the damage (by recovering the music, if that was possible) or to make an appropriate payment to you to compensate for your lost music files.