European Commission considers mandatory digital rights management

Alex Hudson home at
Sun Mar 3 10:56:50 UTC 2002

On Sun, 2002-03-03 at 09:37, Alexandre Dulaunoy wrote:
> They talk about "Open and Flexible DRM", that's a strange concept for DRM.

In the second annex, they talk about open rights and the systems set up
to support them (such as -
in this case, 'open' doesn't mean 'anyone can implement this', it means
'the rights you have on this IP is clearly marked', if that makes any
sense :) That web link explains it better than I have.

> I think we need to make a complete analysis of the EC working paper and 
> make an official comment about that. I think the DRM in EU can generate 
> same issue as SSSCA in US for Free Software and Freedom in general.

That is exactly what they are planning :( Although, this is the first
paper that I've seen that has any mention of the rights of the user too.
The sad thing is that this is going to be very difficult (if not
impossible) to fight. If we were able to enforce the current rights of
users, then probably 90% of the current DRM systems would be unusable
(CSS on DVDs, for example). However, I believe it is possible to
generate DRM systems which comply 100% with user rights' laws which
would still be incompatible with Free Software, which is really the
point in question.

In the UK, the right of reverse engineering (for example) is protected
in the name of interoperability, but I imagine laws like this would be
overridden by any EUSSSCA.. I guess it comes down to not only ensuring
that DRM systems do not trample on fair rights, but do not dictate
"systems" (i.e., if I buy a DVD and I wish to use it on my Free
computer, I am allowed to write interoperable software to run it) - but
actually getting DRM specs out of companies would be like blood out of a



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