FC: European Commission considers mandatory digital rights management

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Mar 02 2002 - 09:23:13 PST

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    As the U.S. Congress weighs mandatory digital rights management, the
    European Commission is also looking into the topic. A 43-page EC
    study of digital rights management gives a nod to fair use and privacy
    -- and then says DRM schemes are not only inevitable but a fabulous idea.
    A key excerpt from the study says the EC "should continue to encourage
    all players to develop operational, open and interoperable DRM
    solutions and to deploy them rapidly." (Apparently the EC has been
    funding such schemes for the last decade.)
    I've placed the EC study here in PDF form (thanks, Michael):
    ----- Forwarded message from Michael Kleinhenz <kleinhenzat_private> -----
    From: Michael Kleinhenz <kleinhenzat_private>
    Subject: European Commission enforces DRM systems
    To: declanat_private
    Date: Sat, 02 Mar 2002 10:33:59 -0500
    Hi Declan,
    maybe something for your list:
    Yesterday I was at a workshop of the European Commision on Digital
    Rights Management Systems. I held a talk about the weaknesses of DRMs
    and the chances of Open Content like business models. Most of the
    about 100 people attending the workshop were representatives of the
    content industry or manufacturers of DRM systems. Therefore my talk
    was not really liked by them (the usual "Open Source is like stealing"
    More interesting is, that my impression of this workshop is,
    1. The EC will continue to support the use and implementation of DRM
        systems on a broad scale.
    2. Their recent directive on that topic (2001/29/EC) that has to be
        implemented by the member states by the end of the year will result
        in a SSSCA like legislation.
    3. From the proceedings and my personal conversation
        with some of the participants, I believe that most of the content
        providers have not realized the facts: many people at the
        workshop have talked about systems like Napster, but I think too few
        people had the actual technological advancement in mind when talking
        of such services. I was the only one to emphasize the implications
        from things like Freenet which I think is unstoppable, no matter
    In result, I was scared by two things: how the workshop was compiled
    by the EC (95% content industry, 5% consumer rights organizations) and
    the fact that many people there were so naive in terms of DRMs, their
    implications and their implementations. Example: everyone was talking
    about a common standard for DRM systems to support many platforms, but
    no one was talking about the implications of (software)patents on it.
    Attached you can find a Commission staff working paper on Digital
    Rights that may be interesting as well...
    Michael Kleinhenz              LinuxTag 2002 - Europes largest Linux Expo
    kleinhenzat_private                           http://www.linuxtag.org/
    Version: GnuPG v1.0.5 (GNU/Linux)
    Comment: For info see http://www.gnupg.org
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
    ----- End forwarded message -----
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