Editorial - Special Issue on Contracts on Digital Goods and Services

Author:Axel Metzger - Heike Schweitzer
Special Issue on Contracts on Digital Goods and Services
© 2017 Axel Metzger and Heike Schwei tzer
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Recommended citation: A xel Metzger and Heike Schweit zer, Editorial: Special Issue on Contrac ts on Digital Goods and
Services, 8 (20 17) JIPITEC 1, para 1.
The European Commission’s proposal for a Directive
on contracts for the supply of digital content
provoked a lively debate regarding the rights
and duties of consumers of digital content, and
about the rights and duties of service providers.
The Commission’s proposal addresses the legal
characterization of contracts for the supply
of digital content, their interoperability and
portability, the consequences of conceiving data
as counter-performance, the consumer’s right to
retrieve data and content, and a number of other
relevant issues at the intersection of contract law,
information technology, intellectual property and
competition law. However, the proposed directive
also contains remarkable gaps which are left to be
lled by national laws of the member states. The
political and academic debate on contracts for the
supply of digital content is currently mainly focussed
on the European legislative procedure. However,
discussions on the member states’ level with regard
to the implementation of the Directive are already
in sight.
Against this background, the authors of this
editorial organized a conference on “Contracts
on Digital Goods and Services” which was held at
Humboldt-University, Berlin on October 6, 2016. The
presentations given at the conference engendered
intense discussions among the participants, who
ranged from academics and legal practitioners
to representatives from European and national
governmental entities and stakeholders. This
special issue features some of the papers presented
at the conference. Axel Metzger (Berlin) carries out a
1 Proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning
contracts for the supply of digital content, COM/2015/0634
nal - 2015/0287 (COD).
contract law analysis of data as counter-performance
and asks what rights and duties parties have. Yoan
Hermstrüwer (Bonn) provides a behavioural economic
analysis of big data and consent. Hervé Jacquemin
(Namur) explores the characterization of contracts
on the supply of digital content from a French
and Belgian perspective. Heike Schweitzer (Berlin)
and Wolfgang Kerber (Marburg) provide a legal and
economic analysis of interoperability in the digital
economy. Ruth Janal (Berlin) investigates data
portability both under the General Data Protection
Regulation and the proposed Directive on contracts
for the supply of digital content. We would like to
thank the editor-in-charge and his team for the
possibility to publish the papers from the conference
in a special issue of JIPITEC!
Axel Metzger
Heike Schweitzer

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