Digital content is now a new category of product

Digital content now also includes data which is produced and supplied in digital form, including forms of intangible digital content, such as computer

games, virtual items purchased within computer games, television programmes, films and books.

Digital content is treated similarly to goods – a consumer buying digital content now has the same rights as if buying goods, regardless of the way in which it is supplied. All items must be of a satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. If the digital content supplied does not comply with this, a consumer will have a statutory right to request a repair or replacement and, if a repair or replacement is not possible or is not properly carried out, the consumer will be entitled to a price reduction – which may be 100% of the price charged.

Certain rules also apply to digital content supplied on tangible media. However, it will be the digital content standards that are applicable to tangible media, which differ from standards associated with conventional goods.

Read more about digital rights

Whereas a consumer may reject physical goods in certain situations, there are no rights to reject digital content and receive a refund of the price and no corresponding obligations on the consumer to return or delete digital content.

The quality standards and statutory remedies of repair, replacement and price reduction only apply where the digital content is paid for, whether directly or indirectly.

Wherever digital content is provided under a contract, even where it is provided free of charge, the trader will be liable for any damage the digital content causes to any device or other digital content.

The act no longer protects businesses – only an individual will be classed as a consumer. However, a person can still benefit from consumer protection if they made a consumer purchase but had used this in a limited way for the business’s benefit.