[Fsfe-ie] DRM: European Commission not interested in CivilSociety's position

Seth Johnson seth.johnson at realmeasures.dyndns.org
Wed Oct 13 23:32:53 CEST 2004

This sounds so familiar!

Here in the States, we had a similar situation, and based on the
agenda, we just decided to demand to be heard.  We knew the fix
was in, but we also knew that this was the obligatory public
disclosure step, after which they would be able to act as if they
had had proper hearings.  Thus, we essentially kept them from
letting the meeting seem to be a success:


The result?  We stopped government-mandated content control on
the broadband Internet.  This was one half of the Hollings Bill
(the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act),
which I'm sure you've heard of.  It proposed to require content
control be built into all digital devices.  Instead of presenting
the Bill for debate and vote in Congress, they instead tried to
establish precedent by having this workshop at the Commerce

The other half of the Hollings Bill was digital TV.  After the
DRM workshop failed, they scrambled over to the FCC and initiated
the broadcast flag proposal -- so fast that they got the
footnotes in the notice of proposed rulemaking messed up.  We
mobilized and got 4,600 comments to the FCC (now about 7,600). 
The FCC is now being sued over the broadcast flag.


Teresa Hackett wrote:
> DRM: Commission not interested in Civil Society's position
> 12 October, 2004
> http://www.edri.org/issues/copyright/drm/contact041011
> 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 - achieveíng 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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