European ecommerce: for many but not for all

European ecommerce: for many but not for all

The European Commissioner Reding wants European ecommerce take off: though 45% of European families got a broadband connection, there is stil much mistrust in buying online, mainly if the websites are based in foreign country.

Last May for this reason they launched the portal eYou, the guide to your rights online. But there is a small problem: the website is only in 4 languages: English, French, German and Bulgarian (?)

The small website is only a list of faqs pointing to some other links to different pages of the European DG, there is no interaction. All this operation seems to me a nonsense… if the goal was to approach people with no experience to increase their confidence in ecommerce and informing them about their rights and protections by the European laws, how do they think to reach them in this way?

I wondered if it could be possibile to help for the translation of the website in Italian.. on the webpage I couldn’t see any licensing information, but I see a “contact” link, so I sent an email, asking why only four language.

In a very short time (24h) a received a kind aswer: they point me to link explaining European policy about translation…so the website designed to broaden the basis of European e-consumer, would fall in this category: Specialised information (technical information, speeches, campaigns, calls for tender) and breaking news (“What’s new?”, press releases, events) is not necessarily published in all languages. The choice of languages depends on the target audience and in any case it’s not possible to translate the contents as EU got an own copyright and for translating it is necessary to ask the authorization to the appointed service.. and in the end the answer is signed by a service and not by a person.

This is a silly smal story, that remind me to…1) to the discussion insideGlobalVoices on the polyglot Internet (recommend reading: this essay by Zuckermann) and about cooperative translation projects, 2) to the matters of copyright of contents from public government, 3) to the financed project by the Commission to promote e-participation


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