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