Digital Content and Contract Law - in search of appropriate remedies for non-conforming digital content
PhD student: Mrs Dr D.J.B. Op Heij
Promotor: Mrs Prof V. Mak
Duration: 1/2/2017 - 31/1/2021
PhD defence: Tilburg, 9/4/2021
My research aims to determine in which respects current legal remedies fall short for digital content contracts, and whether regulatory changes should be made to improve outcomes for consumers. Contract law provides remedies, but those have been written for regular tangible goods, such as bikes or books, contrary to digital content. Characteristics of digital content, such as the intangibility, can make the application of the regular remedies for regular goods difficult. For example, replacement as a way to fulfil the remedy performance entails that the consumer gives back the original digital content. In many cases of digital content this will be impossible. The project compares Dutch contract law with two legal regimes in which digital content problems are subject to legal review: the Consumer Rights Act 2015 under English law and the proposal for a directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content under EU law. The project aims to examine how Dutch and European contract law can, and perhaps should be upgraded to provide more appropriate solutions for digital content contracts.