CEC consultation on EU-wide DRM

Purpose of project

European Commission's DG Internal Market (Bolkestein) is asking for submissions to a consultation on establishment of a EU-wide uniform market in digital goods based on Digital Rationing Managment (DRM).

see TheRegister report

Submissions are to be mailed to markt-e4 at cec eu int.

FFII could try to work out a position on this subject in close consultation with our supporters.

Moreover we could work out instructions that enable our supporters to make meaningful contributions on their own.

Jean-Marc Le Peuvédic : My personal opinion is that copyright shall only guarantee that commercial publishers do not make a living out of authors' works without entering into an agreement with them. This is very different from saying that copyright entitles authors to regulate most aspects of how their works are used, allows them to define arbitrary custom fee structures for each use, and enforce those rules and fees against everybody else (and all this has to been nuanced according to the nature of the work, of course). French law precisely defines the rights attached to copyright and it doesn't match exactly the functions of current DRM systems. It would be fruitless to bring up those issues with Bolkestein as he probably has a firm and different opinion on those points.

I think that four interesting points are :

1) The interoperability with EU mandated DRM technology must be possible without using proprietary technology. When the US chose their new standard encryption scheme they had an open competition and required that the proposed algorithms be free from patents and royalties. The choice of a standard DRM technology should follow the same requirements.

2) The chosen technology must not be based on a secret (like DVD encryption) because it has to be accessible to everyone. If everyone knows the secret, it is no longer a secret.

3) It must be accessible to anyone from several suppliers (including Open Source, if possible).

4) The winning technology must demonstrate that implementations useable by average computer users to easily share their works over the Internet with the protection afforded by DRM, are possible.

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