Google has issued a new document to the courts which will set out how a digital services agreement between two parties can be struck.
The new document, which is a result of a case brought by the UK Government, outlines the legal terms under which a service provider can provide a digital subscriber with electronic data services (also known as digital audio or video).
Under the current digital services legislation, a service can only offer a digital subscription to another service provider if it has an agreement in place that allows it to do so.
In the new document Google says that this “digital service agreement” should be a condition of a service’s digital subscriber agreement.
“The digital services agreements of both parties should be designed to ensure that both parties are not breaching the obligations of this Act,” the document says.
“By enabling the delivery of digital services, this will prevent the parties from breaching the legal obligations that are set out in the digital services Act.”
The legal provisions set out by the Government, in its case, are: “the parties agree to comply with the obligations laid down in the Digital Services Act, which will govern the operation of digital subscriptions, including the provision of the services and content.”
The service must also “agree to provide the digital subscriber, for the period specified in the agreement, with access to the digital subscription service at reasonable times, subject to the terms and conditions in the service agreement”.
If the service provider fails to comply, it could face a fine.
The legal agreement must also set out “terms and conditions for the digital subscriptions”.
It must also be “clearly and unambiguously” defined as a digital rights agreement, and must set out the obligations the parties agree upon, such as ensuring “a reasonable level of privacy protection and access to personal information”.
Google argues that the terms of the digital service agreements should be clear to everyone in the public, but in practice, it has been left to the parties to set out what the terms are in a digital contract.
“There is a growing consensus in the industry that digital rights agreements should not be vague or unclear and should be straightforward and unambiguous,” the new legal document says, adding that the agreement should “not be made public.”
The new legal agreement will be published in a “formal consultation document” later this year. ®