DRM debate continues in Europe

By EDRi · February 28, 2007

(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
“It is reasonable for consumers to be informed what is actually being
offered for sale, for example, and how and where the purchaser will be able
to use the product, and any restrictions applied”.

The DRM question continues to be a hot debate in Europe. Becky Hogge,
executive director at the UK Open Rights Group, thinks “DRM had been seen in
the past as a niche technology issue, but there is now rising consumer
awareness about it”. She also stated that some DRM technologies place
restrictions that infringe the users’ rights according to the U.K. copyright
law. “DRM attempts to enforce copyright, but it does it badly,” said Hogge.

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection,
together with consumer organizations have drawn up a “Charter for Consumer
Sovereignty in the Digital World,” calling on operators of Web music shops
such as Apple to open up their closed systems. The charter draft is said to
be presented in March 2007 at a conference of European consumer protection

The earlier plans of some music labels to provide music without DRM could be
with no real consequences since recently EMI broken off talks about offering
DRM-free music via the downloading services. One of the reasons was
apparently the large upfront payments requested by EMO from the online

U.K. government rejects calls for DRM ban (20.02.2007),1000000308,39285993,00.htm

Apple & Co. threatened with opening clauses for online music shop DRM

EMI: DRM stays (26.02.2007)

EDRI-gram: iTunes under continuous attack in Europe (31.01.2007)

EDRI-gram : Is DRM fading out ? (17.01.2007)