Felix Stalder on Fri, 2 Jul 2004 13:03:35 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> EU sponsors pro-DRM PR

This is an excerpt from the excellent EDRi (European Digital Rights) 


4. EU initiative to make DRM more acceptable

The European Commission has funded a new project to make Digital Rights
Management more acceptable to consumers. INDICARE (the Informed Dialogue
about Consumer Acceptability of DRM Solutions in Europe) is distributing
its first e-mail newsletter this week. The newsletter includes links to
articles on the INDICARE website that are conceived as the starting point
for online discussions. Under the E-Content programme 2003-2004 1 million
euro is allocated for 'accompanying measures' like community building.

DRM-technology is seen by both the Commission and the (multi-)national
entertainment industry as the best solution to control copyrights in a
digital environment. Civil rights organisations, data protection
authorities and consumer unions however are not very keen on giving
complete control over their reading, listening and watching habits to
industrial parties. Initiatives to integrate DRM in both hard- and
software, like the TCPA initiative, have strongly been criticised for
violating fundamental freedoms of computer and internet usage.

Apparently, the Commission believes there is nothing fundamentally wrong
with the idea, it only needs some better public relations. The first few
articles on the website painfully illustrate how arrogant the industry is
currently thinking about citizens as passive consumers. The report 'A bite
from the apple' about a DRM-conference in New York in April 2004,
describes how DRM was re-defined as 'Digital Richness Management' by a
representative from RightsCom, leaving no doubt about the destination of
that wealth.

The report continues: "It was interesting to note that no representatives
of consumer organisations or other institutions representing the consumer
side were present at the conference. Invisible also were interest groups
representing the interests of consumers as citizens in access to
information services and infrastructure under affordable, reasonable
conditions, and under conditions that respect further public interest
objectives. (...) It was even more interesting to note that some of the
conference participants clearly welcomed this situation. As Josh Hug,
Development Manager at RealNetworks Inc. put it: "Consumers are not
represented here, perhaps that is good. They do not have to be. They have
already enough power."

Indicare website

Ross Anderson Trusted Computing FAQ (august 2003)

European Commission Communication on the Management of Copyright and
Related Rights (16.04.2004)


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