[Fsfe-uk] Re: EU Communication on the Management of Copyright and Related Rights

Philip Hunt zen19725 at zen.co.uk
Wed Jun 16 22:25:34 UTC 2004

On Wednesday 16 June 2004 12:58 pm, MJ Ray wrote:
> The consultation call is on
> <URL:http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/copyright/management/managem
>ent_en.htm> and repeated for the UK at
> <URL:http://www.patent.gov.uk/copy/notices/2004/eurocomm.htm>. Replies
> need to be in by 21 June.

My draft response to this follows:


Regarding the Communication on the management of copyright and
related rights in the Internal Market COM(2004)261, my main concern
is with copyright law as it relates to digital rights management (DRM)

Specifically, I think that the law shouldn't allow people to use
DRM to forbid interoperability between data formats and software
that reads them. In other words, it should be legal to write
software for the purpose of reading and decoding any data format,
including one that uses DRM, if that is necessary to ensure

I work for a small organisation that produces scientific
instruments for the biotech industry. My employers make extensive
use of software to read and write diverse file formats (and we
write such software ourselves), and any restriction on our ability
to do so would harm our company. I further note that the problems
of DRM being used to forbid compatibility are particularly severe
with regard to open source software. My employers use open source
software extensively, and any legal climate that restricts it would
harm us.

I further note that DRM could be used by unscrupulous predatory
monopolies such as Microsoft -- who were recently fined EUR
500,000,000 by the EU -- to further cement their illegal
monopoly, which would be to the detriment of companies and
consumers throughout Europe.

Yours Faithfully,
Philip Hunt,
Software Developer, Bioptonics,
Medical Research Council Technology


Does anyone have any comments on this before I send it?

Phil Hunt

More information about the Discussion mailing list