EU Commission proposes new Game Software "guarantee"

Today it has been released that members from the EU Commission are proposing to give Games and similar Software a two year guarantee that is currently in place for "tangible movable consumer goods".

Meglena Kuneva and Viviane Reding, two commissioners from the EU have questioned the form in which guarantees are being used for Video Games and Software, Currently a game is bought and you are the holder of said license, and you are unable to return it if a bug or glitch is present in the game without , this new proposal would undermine that and force retailers to refund your money.

Helen Kearns, speaking on behalf of Meglena Kuneva, remarks "The current status quo, where licensed products are exempt from EU law, is unsatisfactory,"

If such a proposal was indeed made part of the regulations over the games industry in Europe it would allow users who are unhappy with a buggy game to return their purchase, Helen Kearns continues saying consumers want "to get a product that works with fair commercial conditions".

Most would see the fault in such a system that could lead to abuse, she does however understand how the system could be abused by those who might have bought, played, completed a game and then return it stating that they were unable to complete it due to bugs, then getting a full refund.

"On the one hand there is the risk of abuse, but on the other it's not a good enough reason to say basic consumer protection should not apply."

The head of the video games developers association Tiga, Dr Richard Wilson, has stated that a change to how the system currently works would harm creativity on behalf of the game developers. "They have to be careful not to stifle new ideas,"

"If there is an onus on developers to have software that is 'near perfect' then it could stifle new ideas as people could end up just playing it safe,"
What could this mean for the simple gamer? Games could take even longer to come out than they do currently and with fewer releases due to time commitments that would be required for each game being developed to make it as perfect as possible.

Francisco Mingorance, the director of The Business Software Alliance has chimed into the prospect of the proposal.
"Digital content is not a tangible good and should not be subject to the same liability rules as toasters. It is contractually licensed to consumers and not sold."

"These contracts are governed by civil law that provide consumers with multitude of remedies for breach of contract. We are not aware of any shortcomings of the legal frameworks with respect to digital content."

It is also stated that a change in the law could "end the fragmentation of laws on 'private copying'". This could affect the laws that govern what you can and can't currently do with digital media that you have bought, though a few countries currently have a Private Copy law, countries such as the UK still see it as illegal, though usually little is done about it unless you share it.

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