Taipei Orders Google & Apple To Offer 7-Day Free Trials Of All Apps Offered Via App Markets

from the liability-confusion dept

Apparently some regulators in Taiwan's capital city of Taipei have extended some consumer protection laws such that they've ordered Google and Apple to start providing 7-day free trials of every app, in either the Apple App Store or the Google Android Marketplace, or face large fines. The issue is that the consumer protection laws require a grace period for returns, which neither of these services provide to the extent that Taipei regulators would like. Apple and Google, quite reasonably, point out that they should not be liable as third parties, suggesting (implicitly) that it should be developers themselves who are responsible for obeying any sort of consumer protection regulations. However, Taipei regulators aren't buying it:
"Such a claim is an irresponsible business practice," Yeh said.
The two companies have been given 15 days to comply with the law, and if they are unable to do so, they could be facing significant fines. It does make me wonder if either company even has the functionality to offer such things across the board, and how various developers would feel about that.

Filed Under: apps, free, taipei
Companies: apple, google

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  1. icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), 7 Jun 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Re: I'm not so sure this is a bad thing

    One loophole this opens is that you can "borrow" an app as long as you return it within the trial period.

    In the real world, this happens quite often. Ever check out an electronics store right after a superbowl or some other sporting event?

    A lot of people "borrow" equipment. If companies in the real world don't like this, they model their policies to avoid this (not allowing returns after major sporting events for non-broken equipment, or charging a restocking fee.) It is about time that the mythical world of Intellectual Property was brought more in line with Capitalism.

    I am personally tired of buying software only to find out that it doesn't offer what I want or doesn't match what the box said it would do...which is why I rarely buy commercial software any more. With Open Source, Shareware, etc., I can try the software before I buy it, or choose to support the Open Source community behind the software in the case of Open Source. Especially since you can't return commercial software, even if it doesn't match your expectations or doesn't even work (in the case of DRM, I have quite a few programs I bought which I cannot use and cannot return.)

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