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3:17pm on Monday, 22nd July, 2013:

Goods, Services, Digital


I went to London today to attend a roundtable on the draft Consumer Rights Bill, which took place at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The reason I was there (representing the Virtual Policy Network) was to check that they weren't doing anything crazy with regard to virtual worlds (eg. requiring companies to replace your virtual sword when it breaks). They've actually done something quite interesting and separated out digital content, so the bill addresses goods (eg. a toaster), services (eg. a haircut) and digital goods and services (eg. movie-streaming), on the grounds that it's hard to tell what's a good and what's a service when it comes to digital content. You may think in your head that you're buying a digital hat but you're actually paying someone to flip a bit in a database, which is a service. I'm actually upbeat about it, so long as their assurances are correct that "fit for use" for games can include things which wouldn't be fit for use in another context.

Oh, and UK tax-payers will be delighted to know that their government is not squandering money on luxuries such as air conditioning, even if attendees at the roundtable would have preferred that it did...

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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).