BEUC's Campaign on Consumers' Digital Rights

By EDRi · January 18, 2006

In November 2005 BEUC (the coalition of all consumers’ organisations in
Europe) has launched a Campaign on Consumers’ Digital Rights. The
campaign is meant to show consumers what their digital rights are. BEUC
is supported by Zusana Roithova, Member of the European Parliament, Czech

The campaign highlights the complex threats for consumers in today’s
digital world. Data retention, covering commercial and non-commercial
infringements under the same “piracy” umbrella, the general
criminalisation of consumers and last but not least, DRM (Digital
Rights Management).

Within this campaign a dedicated website was created at , available in English, French and
German. The website includes a compilation of musical tracks from 14 artists
who want you to share their music under the Creative Commons
NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Also, it gives the opportunity for its visitors to support the campaign by
signing an electronic petition for consumer rights in the digital world.
Until 17 January 2006 the petition was signed by more than 4 000 persons.

BEUC presents a list of what they consider basic consumer rights in the
digital world: right to choice, right to knowledge and cultural diversity,
right to the principle of “technical neutrality”, right to benefit from
technological innovations without abusive restrictions and to
interoperability of content and devices, right to the protection of privacy,
right not to be criminalised.

The campaign also deals with the P2P issue. While everybody acknowledges
that piracy is a serious issue and the consumers should be discouraged to
buy counterfeit copies of CDs or DVDs, a clear difference between consumers
and criminals must be made. Consumers should not be threatened with high
penalties for downloading films or music from the Internet and the industry
should stop treating the consumers as pirates.

The message of the campaign initiated by BEUC is that the consumers
should have some digital rights guaranteed and that they should be advised
on what they can do with their digital hardware and content.

BEUC’s campaign for Consumers’ Digital Rights

Some of the reasons for BEUC’s Campaign on Consumers’ Digital Rights