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
    sheenyglass (profile), 7 Jun 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Third party argument not persuasive

    I am agnostic on whether legally mandating the return period is a good policy. However if it is the law of Taiwan I fail to see why the onus for compliance falls on the developer alone.

    If sellers of consumer goods in the US were mandated to accept returns for seven days regardless of their fault, Best Buy would have to accept returns of the game for seven days regardless of whether it was at fault. Maybe that would be a bad law, but it would be silly for Best Buy to argue that it shouldn't have to comply because other parties could also offer a refund.

    Presumably, Best Buy would have contractual rights to be reimbursed by the distributor in a case like that, just like Google/Apple can retain the right to hold the developers' money until the app clears the seven day period.

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