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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2016-09-28">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>EU copyright proposal reinforces DRM</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>EU copyright proposal reinforces DRM</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">On 14 September the European Commission (EC) published
  9. its long-awaited <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposal-directive-european-parliament-and-council-copyright-digital-single-market">proposal
  10. for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market</a>. While we
  11. welcome the proposal to introduce a mandatory exception for 'text
  12. and data mining' (TDM) in the field of scientific research, we are concerned
  13. about the inclusion of a far-reaching "technical safeguards" clause granted
  14. to rightholders in order to limit the newly established exception.</p>
  15. <p>The proposal grants a mandatory exception to research organisations to
  16. carry out TDM of copyrighted works to which they have lawful access. The
  17. exception is only applicable to research organisations, thus narrowing
  18. its scope and excluding everyone else with the lawful access to the copyrighted
  19. works.</p>
  20. <p>According to the accompanying Impact Assessment, the TDM exception has
  21. the potential of inflicting a high number of downloads of the works, and
  22. that is why the rightholders are allowed to apply "necessary" technical
  23. measures in the name of "security and integrity" of their networks and
  24. databases.</p>
  25. <p>Such a requirement, as it is proposed by the EC in the current text,
  26. gives rightholders a wide-reaching right to restrict the effective implementation
  27. of the new exception. Rightholders are free to apply whichever measure
  28. they deem "necessary" to protect their rights in the TDM exception, and
  29. to choose the format and modalities of such technical measures.</p>
  30. <p>This provision will lead to a wider implementation of
  31. <a href="https://fsfe.org/activities/drm/index.en.html">"digital restrictions
  32. management"</a> (DRM) technologies. These technologies are already used
  33. extensively to arbitrarily restrict the lawful use of accessible works
  34. under the new TDM exception. This reference to "necessary technical safeguards"
  35. is excessive and can make the mandatory TDM exception useless. It is worth
  36. repeating that the exception is already heavily limited to cover only research
  37. organisations with public interest.</p>
  38. <p>Further reasons to forbid the use of DRM technologies in the exception are:</p>
  39. <ul>
  40. <li><strong>DRM leads to vendor lock-in.</strong> As researchers will
  41. need a specific compatible software in order to be able to access the work,
  42. they will be locked to a particular vendor or provider for arbitrary reasons.
  43. These technical safeguards will most likely stop researchers from exercising
  44. their right under the exception of using their own tools to extract data,
  45. and can lead to the factual monopoly of a handful of companies providing
  46. these technologies.</li>
  47. <li><strong>DRM excludes free software users.</strong> DRM always relies
  48. on proprietary components to work. These components, by definition, are
  49. impossible to implement in Free Software. The right of Free Software users
  50. to access resources under the exception will be violated.</li>
  51. <li><strong>DRM technologies increase the cost of research and education.</strong>
  52. Accessing DRM-protected resources typically requires purchasing specific
  53. proprietary software. Such technology is expensive and it is important to
  54. ask how much the implementation of these technologies would cost for research
  55. and educational institutions throughout Europe. Furthermore, very often
  56. this software cannot be shared, so every research workstation would need
  57. to purchase a separate copy or license for the software.</li>
  58. <li><strong>DRM artificially limits sharing between peers.</strong>
  59. A typical functionality DRM provides is to cap the number of copies you
  60. can make of documents and data. This will force different researchers to
  61. access and download data and documents several times even if they are
  62. working on the same team. This is a waste of time and resources. As DRM
  63. also typically limits the number of downloads, teams could find themselves
  64. cut of from resources they legitimately have a right to access under the
  65. exception.</li>
  66. </ul>
  67. <p>We ask the European Parliament and the EU member states to explicitly
  68. forbid the use of harmful DRM practices in the EU copyright reform,
  69. especially with regard to already heavily limited exceptions.</p>
  70. </body>
  71. <tags>
  72. <tag>front-page</tag>
  73. <tag content="Copyright">Copyright</tag>
  74. <tag content="DRM">DRM</tag>
  75. <tag content="Digital Single Market">DigitalSingleMarket</tag>
  76. </tags>
  77. </html>