European Data Act, Final Text

Preamble 51 to 60.

(51) Transparency is an important principle for ensuring that the compensation requested by a data holder is reasonable, or, if the data recipient is an SME or a not-for-profit research organisation, that the compensation does not exceed the costs directly related to making the data available to the data recipient and is attributable to the individual request concerned. In order to put data recipients in a position to assess and verify that the compensation complies with the requirements of this Regulation, the data holder should provide to the data recipient sufficiently detailed information for the calculation of the compensation.

(52) Ensuring access to alternative ways of resolving domestic and cross-border disputes that arise in connection with making data available should benefit data holders and data recipients and therefore strengthen trust in data sharing. Where parties cannot agree on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions of making data available, dispute settlement bodies should offer a simple, fast and low-cost solution to the parties. While this Regulation only lays down the conditions that dispute settlement bodies need to fulfil to be certified, Member States are free to adopt any specific rules for the certification procedure, including the expiry or revocation of certification. The provisions of this Regulation on dispute settlement should not require Member States to establish dispute settlement bodies.

(53) The dispute settlement procedure under this Regulation is a voluntary procedure that enables users, data holders and data recipients to agree to bring their disputes before dispute settlement bodies. Therefore, the parties should be free to address a dispute settlement body of their choice, be it within or outside of the Member States in which those parties are established.

(54) To avoid cases in which two or more dispute settlement bodies are seized for the same dispute, in particular in a cross-border situation, a dispute settlement body should be able to refuse to deal with a request to resolve a dispute that has already been brought before another dispute settlement body or before a court or tribunal of a Member State.

(55) In order to ensure the uniform application of this Regulation, the dispute settlement bodies should take into account the non-binding model contractual terms to be developed and recommended by the Commission as well as Union or national law specifying data sharing obligations or guidelines issued by sectoral authorities for the application of such law.

(56) Parties to dispute settlement proceedings should not be prevented from exercising their fundamental rights to an effective remedy and a fair trial. Therefore, the decision to submit a dispute to a dispute settlement body should not deprive those parties of their right to seek redress before a court or tribunal of a Member State. Dispute settlement bodies should make annual activity reports publicly available.

(57) Data holders may apply appropriate technical protection measures to prevent the unlawful disclosure of or access to data. However, those measures should neither discriminate between data recipients, nor hinder access to or the use of data for users or data recipients. In the case of abusive practices on the part of a data recipient, such as misleading the data holder by providing false information with the intent to use the data for unlawful purposes, including developing a competing connected product on the basis of the data, the data holder and, where applicable and where they are not the same person, the trade secret holder or the user can request the third party or data recipient to implement corrective or remedial measures without undue delay.

Any such requests, and in particular requests to end the production, offering or placing on the market of goods, derivative data or services, as well as those to end importation, export, storage of infringing goods or their destruction, should be assessed in the light of their proportionality in relation to the interests of the data holder, the trade secret holder or the user.

(58) Where one party is in a stronger bargaining position, there is a risk that that party could leverage such a position to the detriment of the other contracting party when negotiating access to data with the result that access to data is commercially less viable and sometimes economically prohibitive.

Such contractual imbalances harm all enterprises without a meaningful ability to negotiate the conditions for access to data, and which may have no choice but to accept take-it-or-leave-it contractual terms. Therefore, unfair contractual terms regulating access to and the use of data, or liability and remedies for the breach or the termination of data related obligations, should not be binding on enterprises when those terms have been unilaterally imposed on those enterprises.

(59) Rules on contractual terms should take into account the principle of contractual freedom as an essential concept in business-to-business relationships. Therefore, not all contractual terms should be subject to an unfairness test, but only those terms that are unilaterally imposed. This concerns take-it-or-leave-it situations where one party supplies a certain contractual term and the other enterprise cannot influence the content of that term despite an attempt to negotiate it. A contractual term that is simply provided by one party and accepted by the other enterprise or a term that is negotiated and subsequently agreed in an amended form between contracting parties should not be considered to have been unilaterally imposed.

(60) Furthermore, the rules on unfair contractual terms should apply only to those elements of a contract that are related to making data available, that is contractual terms concerning access to and use of the data as well as liability or remedies for breach and termination of data related obligations. Other parts of the same contract, unrelated to making data available, should not be subject to the unfairness test laid down in this Regulation.