EFF Urges Fresh Inquiry Into Ramifications of DRM

London - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has criticized a European Commission group for assuming that digital rights management (DRM) is the only way to foster development of the home audiovisual market.

In comments filed last week, EFF European Affairs Coordinator Cory Doctorow took the Networked Audiovisual Systems and Home Platforms (NAVSHP) group to task for its report on developing a harmonized system of DRM requirements. Doctorow urged NAVSHP to explore approaches grounded in empirical research, not industry mythology.

"DRM is already widely deployed without a hint of success and the NAVSHP group has the opportunity to learn from its well-known failures," said Doctorow. "NAVSHP should take a new look into how DRM affects the public, artists, and industry."

So far, DRM has failed to reduce unauthorized copying or enrich content authors and performers, and instead has curtailed competition and sacrificed user-rights for the benefit of entertainment giants. A fresh inquiry could examine why otherwise law-abiding citizens have resorted to finding unrestricted material on peer-to-peer networks and look at technological systems that might encourage new artistic works and new business models.

"The EU and the world are experiencing a revolution in creativity thanks to the Internet," said Doctorow. "An entire generation of remixers, talented amateurs, and Creative Commons enthusiasts have created works that do not require DRM to thrive. NAVSHP should produce recommendations for systems that embrace unrestricted distribution methods in support of these new Internet-native business models. These European creators deserve every bit as much attention from the EU as do American film studios and other incumbents."

For the full critique submitted to NAVSHP: http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/NAVSHP/

For more on digital video standards in Europe: http://www.eff.org/IP/DVB/


Cory Doctorow
European Affairs Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation

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