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DRM: Commission not interested in Civil Society's position

12 October, 2004
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Civil Society representatives, user and consumer advocates were left almost speechless yesterday, October 11, at a hearing organised by the European Commission on Digital Rights Management. Due to the invitation policy of the Commission's DG Internal Market, the event, organized to help the Committee established under Article 12 of the EU Copyright Directive evaluate the way Article 6 of that same Directive is being transposed, was entirely dominated by the Digital Rights Management Iindustry and by representatives of collecting societies.

Speakers were required to speak only on a few specific points, which, in the programme already, touched very little of DRM technology's problematical implications. The only slot were these problems could be discussed - "Developments in case law as well as relevant economic, social or cultural or technological developments" - was put on the agenda as the very last item.

Due to the bad enforcement of the speaking time limitations the Commission itself had imposed, this agenda item, were almost all of the Civil Society activists present had enlisted themselves, was not discussed any more. During the afternoon, speakers of industry firms and collecting societies had been allowed to speak for up to 15 minutes, with a few speakers speaking up to an hour in total.

Andreas Dietl, EDRI EU Affairs Director, comments:

"The Commission seems to have decided to promote this Orwellian technology not only against the declared will of a vast majority of online users, but also without listening to them. If the Commission won't listen to us at the events foreseen for that purpose, we will have to figure out ways to make ourselves heard otherwise."

Response to the EU Consultation on Digital Rights Management, by Ross Anderson, Chairman of EDRI member FIPR
http://www.fipr.org/copyright/ipr-consult.html

"Putting users at the centre - achieveĆ­ng an 'information society for all'" Response to the consultation by privatkopie.net and EDRI member Bits of Freedom http://www.privatkopie.net/files/privatkopie-bof_on-DRM.pdf

Programme of the Consultation
www.edri.org/files/EC_DRM_041012.pdf

 

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