WORKSHOP ON CONSUMER PROTECTION AND EMPOWERMENT IN THE PURCHASE OF DIGITAL CONTENT PRODUCTS
OECD Conference Centre, Room CC4, Paris
Monday, 23 April 2012
14:30 – 14:40 OPENING REMARKS
• Mr. Michael JENKIN, Chairman, OECD Committee on Consumer Policy
• Ms. Susan GRANT, Workshop Moderator, Director of Consumer Protection, Consumer Federation of America
14:40 - 15:10 SESSION I: MARKET CHARACTERISTICS
• Overview of trends and consumer issues. Presentation of draft OECD background report.
o Ms. Brigitte ACOCA, OECD secretariat
• Outlook. How is the market likely to evolve? What new opportunities and challenges await consumers?
o Ms. Sylvie FORBIN, Senior Vice-President, Public and European Affairs, VIVENDI
• Digital product characteristics. How does trade in digital products differ from other products? How do the differences affect consumers and their expectations? How are consumers affected by interoperability, functionality, and geographic limitations?
o Mr. Geoffray BRUNAUX, Maître de Conférences, University of Law Reims Champagne-Ardenne
15:10 – 15:25 DISCUSSION
15:25 – 16:15 SESSION II: CONSUMER PROTECTION ISSUES
• Varying levels of consumer protection. Various competing frameworks in countries cover consumer rights and obligations in the purchase of digital content products. These include competition, copyright, specific digital content and general consumer protection laws, as well as industry voluntary protections.
o Regulatory frameworks. Is the level of consumer protection accorded to the purchase of digital content products adequate? Is there a need for specific legislation addressing issues?
Mr. Sven ROEHR, European Commission, Unit A.3 Consumer and Marketing Law, DG JUSTICE
Mr. Olivier DOCK, Vice President, All Media – EMEA, Motion Picture Association
• Unfair commercial, misleading and fraudulent practices, including privacy and security challenges. In some instances, restrictions may be regarded as unfair, or may be the result of misleading and/or fraudulent commercial practices. What should be done to enhance protection? By whom?
o Unfair commercial practices.
Ms. Bente OVERLI, Deputy Director General, Consumer Ombudsman, Norway
o Misleading/fraudulent practices.
Ms. Lisa CAMPBELL, Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau Canada
Mr. Richard VAN DER BOON, Enforcement Officer, Netherlands Consumer Authority
16:15 – 16:35 DISCUSSION
16:35 – 16:55 SESSION III: CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT ISSUES
• Information disclosure. Contract clarity and transparency is in many instances reported as a challenge for consumers who simply do not read or understand the terms and conditions associated with the purchase of digital content products. What types of information problems are being examined in countries? How could information disclosure be enhanced to enable consumers to make informed decisions prior to purchasing products?
o Ms. Hertta HARTIKAINEN, Legal Advisor, Consumer Agency & Ombudsman, Finland
• Digital competence and education. What types of initiatives have been implemented in countries to educate consumers about digital content products usage and characteristics? What more needs to be done to address concerns?
o Mr. Kyung-tae GU, Manager of International Cooperation Team, Korea Consumer Agency
16:55 – 17:15 DISCUSSION
17:15 – 17:35 SESSION IV: DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND REDRESS ISSUES
What problems are being experienced by consumers concerning dispute resolution and redress? How are these being addressed? By which parties? What more needs to be done to address concerns?
• Dispute resolution. In multiparty transactions, when problems arise in the purchase of digital content products delivered electronically, information on the responsibilities of parties is often unclear or not available to consumers who may not know what mechanisms are available, or who they should contact to resolve issues.
o Mr. Michael DAHAN, Founder and CEO, BOOKEEN
• Redress. Sales of goods remedies may not apply to some intangible digital content products due to their specific characteristics. Some products may neither be returned, nor repaired or replaced. To what extent are consumers aware of such differences? Should there be a similar level of protection for all types of intangible digital content products to meet consumer expectations?
o Ms. Marzena KISIELOWSKA-LIPMAN, Senior Policy Advocate, CONSUMER FOCUS
17:35 – 17:50 DISCUSSION
17:50 – 18:00 CONCLUSIONS AND NEXT STEPS
A brief summary of the issues discussed will be provided by the workshop moderator and the Chair of the CCP. Participants will be invited to indicate whether the issues identified in the draft background report have been adequately presented and explored, and which areas may require further attention, in light of the principles in the 1999 OECD Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce (available at: www.oecd.org/dataoecd/18/13/34023235.pdf).
*Please note that the proposed timing is indicative and may be adjusted, as appropriate. Please also note that the workshop will be carried out in English only.