David Noble's Blog

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

UK Parliament report damns DRM, calls for reins on crippleware

News on one of my pet hates, DRM. Seems like our dear leaders have paid attention to the huge fuck-ups in the US and hopefully we won't have anything as bad over here. Fingers crossed...

UK Parliament report damns DRM, calls for reins on crippleware

Cory Doctorow: The UK All Party Parliamentary Internet Group has published a paper on DRM today that makes a number of very progressive recommendations on DRM in British law. The APPIG solicited public comments, and the UK Open Rights Group submitted a long, detailed set of recommendations on how to make Britain safe from copy-restriction technology. Many of the best recommendations in the APPIG mirror the ORG proposals, which suggests that Parliament is really listening to tech activists on DRM questions.

Specifically, the group recommended:

* Mandatory DRM labeling, explaining what you lose when you buy DRM technology

* Further, labeling should include information on how you'd be hurt if the DRM vendor goes out of business or if you buy new technology

* A promise of criminal prosecution the next time a Sony Rootkit DRM-style scandal crops up

* A call for investigation into the ways that DRM is used for illegal price-discrimination within the EU (e.g., charging different amounts for the same iTunes song depending on which European country you live in)

* A ban on future DRM mandates

* Action to ensure that DRM doesn't interfere with use by visually disabled people

* A promise that future DRM rules include activists and public interest groups, not just entertainment companies and DRM arms-merchants

* A rule allowing academics and security researchers to crack DRM and publish the details of their work

* Investigation into depositing non-DRM media with the nation's libraries

These reccos certainly could have gone farther, but hoo boy, would you look at that? Talk about a country bent on learning from America's dumb DRM mistakes.


(Disclosure: I'm a proud co-founder and adivsory board member for the UK Open Rights Group)

[via Boing Boing]


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