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Digital Rights Management

DRM debate continues in Europe

28 February, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 19 February 2007, the UK Government rejected an online petition initiated by blogger Neil Holmes and signed by 1,414 people asking for the interdiction of DRM (Digital Rights Management), arguing DRM systems deprive the consumers of their freedom of choice between competing products for CDs or digital download.

The UK government rejected the petition answering that DRM could bring value to consumers as it did not only act as a protection system but "also enables content companies to offer the consumer unprecedented choice in terms of how they consume content, and the corresponding price they wish to pay".

As regarding the rights of the consumers, the UK government considers that

iTunes under continuous attack in Europe

31 January, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

More consumer protection organizations from across Europe have initiated complaints against Apple in order to obtain a more friendly end user license agreement (EULA) for iTunes.

The consumer protectionists are concerned about the interoperability of purchased music, contractual terms and liability rules. They consider that iTunes should renegotiate its contracts with the music industry that would allow customers to play the music they buy, on the devices they choose, by downloading music from the Internet without DRM systems. They ask from the sellers to exclude from their EULAs clauses that stipulate that the agreement provisions may be altered unilaterally without the consumer’s

Sony loses DRM case in France

17 January, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Sony UK and Sony France have lost a case against The French consumer protection association UFC Que Choisir because they did not inform the consumers about the lack of interoperability of their products and services to other devices.

The decision taken by the Nanterre Tribunal has found Sony liable for misleading the consumers by "the fact that Sony did not explicitly and clearly informed the consumer that the music players sold could read only the music files downloaded on the only legal site Connect." The decision also considered that Sony UK had not explicitly stated in its contract that the music files downloaded from the Connect website could be read only by the music players dedicated for the Sony trademark.

Is DRM fading out?

17 January, 2007
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

2007 has started with news showing the fading away of the DRM systems that have created many problems with consumers and interoperability without having clear results in the actions against illegal copies.

Thus, one of the biggest record companies, EMI, has announced at the beginning of the 2007 that it will no longer produce DRM protected CDs. EMI considered that the technology was not efficient enough for the CDs. However, the decision was limited to the classical CDs and was not related to the distribution of online music in an MP3 format.

But the major record companies have started a serious discussion regarding also selling music online with DRMs. It is expected that in 2007 the music

Digital Restriction Management - drm.info

11 October, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 3 October 2006, the first Anti-DRM day, a new collaborative information platform about the potential dangers of Digital Restriction Management (DRM) was launched. The DRM.info was initiated by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and is supported by a group of organisations and authors.

The main message of the new website is 'Your devices don't trust you!' as Joachim Jakobs, FSFE's media coordinator explains: "In fact they trust you so little that they will not even tell you that they put you under surveillance." DRM.info wants to inform and involve people in decisions that will affect them on a very personal level. All the contributors to the new platform have a shared concern about the lack of a social debate on issues

The French copyright law changed by the Constitutional Council

2 August, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The French Constitutional Council ruled on the most controversial copyright and related rights law, known as DADVSI law, concluding that some provisions of the law "violated the constitutional protections of property".

The Council has considered as unconstitutional several provisions adopted by the French Parliament that were meant to balance the initial text which was too much in favour of the industry, thus making the law even stricter.

One of the aspects considered by the Council as against the equality principle was the gradual system in the application of fines for making works available on P2P networks, which was ranging from 38 to 150 euros. Under the circumstances, the penalties remain at the level of 3

New French copyright law gives Apple satisfaction

5 July, 2006
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(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The most controversial DADVSI Law, now colloquially known also as "iTunes Law", was finally adopted in the French Parliament with a compromise allowing Apple to continue operating as before.

The law was adopted by the Parliament under emergency regime, which ended with a mixed commission, normally made of 7 senators and 7 deputies, from both the majority and the opposition. But the opposition left the commission, after 55 more amendments were brought to it by the rapporteurs at the very final step

The most controversial provision was that of interoperability. In a previous draft, the law imposed measures to allow interoperability, obliging thus Apple to give up its DRM system that made "iTunes" products strictly related

iTunes service considered illegal in Norway

21 June, 2006
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Following a complaint made by the Norwegian Consumer Council in January this year, Bjorn Erik Thon, the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman has ruled that the Apple iTunes service breaks section 9a of the Norwegian Marketing Control Act.

The Consumer Ombudsman considers as unreasonable that the agreement the consumer must accept is regulated by the foreign law and that iTunes disclaims any liability for a possible damage the software may cause.

He also thinks that just like Apple requires an iPod for songs via iTunes, other companies producing music, book or film could restrict their products to specific players as well and believes that this could be an infringement of rights.

"You will have a difficult situation for the consumer ... the consumer has to have four or five gadgets to have the availability of the content that he

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