The Cooling-off Period in the Standard Form Contracts of the On-line Game Industry
|關鍵字:||電子商務;七天反悔期;消費者保護;線上遊戲;electronc commerce;cooling-off period;consumer protection;on-line game|
The evolution of the internet has been widespread around the world, and the electronic commerce brings a whole new consumption vision to all mankind. At this age, we have to open our mind to accept any kind of novel business models, and review or amend, if necessary, our existing rules and regulations at the same time. The cooling-off period is a period of time during which the purchaser shall have the right to return the goods for a refund, and cancel the agreement without penalty. People who ever have the on-line shopping experience will be acquainted with it very well. However, the cooling-off period provided in the Consumer Protection Act(“Act”) is initially for the traditional mail-or-telephone order sales, and here comes a question with the rapid development of electronic commerce: is the existing regulation related to the cooling-off period enough or proper for all kinds of transactions via internet, especially for the digital goods and the on-line service? Comparing to physical goods or service in the traditional transactions, digital goods and on-line service are only transmitted and provided via internet. Furthermore, the digital goods can be reproduced efficiently and completely at very low cost, so the purchaser can claim a refund during the cooling-off period and easily keep a back-up copy as well. It also happens to the on-line service that the purchaser can ask a refund according to the cooling-off period regulation even though he/she has accepted the service non-returnable before the cancellation of the agreement. In such event, the purchaser will obtain both of the refund and the digital goods or the interest of the service at the same time, and this unfair situation obviously is not why we set up the cooling-off period in the Act. Maybe it is the time when we need to re-consider if the existing regulation related to the cooling-off period has its limitation, or it is applicable for all kinds of on-lime shopping transactions. The on-line game industry grows very fast in the recent years and has built up many different kinds of business models, including the software licensing, the on-line service and the virtual property purchasing either via internet or through the physical stores such as the convenient store. In addition, its administrative authority, Industrial Development Bureau of Ministry of Electronic Affairs, has announced the official standard form contract for the on-line game industry to protect the consumer rights and prevent disputes arising out of the game. According to such official standard form contract, no matter in which business models, the consumer has the rights to return the goods to or cancel the agreement with on-line game company for a refund without any cause within 7 days after the purchase or the start of the game. Nevertheless, after the cancellation, the consumer will get the refund and the entertainment interest of such agreement accepted before then. In order to prevent the non-fairness interferes with the development of the on-line game industry and all electronic commerce, this thesis, by reviewing the existing regulations and conducting a qualitative research to the on-line game industry, is trying to induct a new rule to balance the protection of consumer rights and the development of electronic commerce.
|Appears in Collections:||Thesis|