Policy goals 2014 - 2019

Consumer rights and device sovereignty

We increasingly rely on computers for most functions of our daily lives, whether they are smartphones, cars, or thermostats. Citizens need to be in full control of how these devices operate.

In particular, citizens need to have the freedom to modify and exchange the software running on these devices. They must also be able to control which data these devices gather, and with whom this data is shared.

Lawmakers must ensure that consumers have the possibility to modify and exchange the software on all computing devices they own. They need to strengthen consumer rights by giving citizens easy recourse against manufacturers and distributors preventing them from modifying the software on their devices.

With products such as electronic books, movies and computer games, vendors frequently impose arbitrary restrictions on consumers. These, for example, prevent consumers from selling or lending the products they have bought. Vendors often achieve this by claiming that they are merely selling a license to use the product, rather than the product itself. Such restrictions are grossly unfair to consumers, and lawmakers must put a stop to them.

We want the EU and its member states to:

- ask the Commission to propose legislation strengthening consumers rights, by requiring that consumers must be enabled to modify and exchange the software on any computing device they buy or otherwise have permanent possession of

- ask the Commission to propose legislation to ensure that consumers can make use of digital goods which they have acquired within the full scope of copyright exceptions and limitations