Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Written Evidence

APPENDIX: DRM principles

  This is a set of six principles to which—it is suggested—DRM systems should adhere, if they are to be acceptable to consumers and to the majority of individual creators.

  I have suggested that, in order to be widely acceptable, DRM solutions should meet six basic principles: Transparency, Privacy, Interoperability, Universal Affordability, Exceptions, and Accessibility.


  Consumers must be aware at the time of purchase that content they purchase is subject to DRM, and the consequences of that protection.


  The right to read anonymously being an essential component of the right to free expression, DRM should not collect personal data about consumers or their reading habits (although it may collect aggregated, anonymised data).


  DRM systems should be interoperable, in that protected content should not be tied to any particular proprietary platforms. It should not be necessary to repurchase content if a user decides to change the operating system of the computer he uses.

Universal Affordability

  The Berne Convention makes the protection of copyright universally-available to all citizens without formality. If DRM is essential to copyright protection, as its apologists insist, it should similarly be available to all creative citizens as well as to the creative industries, without artificial barriers to entry.


  Exceptions and limitations to copyright law are enacted by Parliament for good reason. For example, the exceptions for the purposes of Parliamentary or judicial proceedings[24]—are enacted so that copyright cannot be used to impede the democratic process or the administration of justice. DRM should not prevent what Parliament has specifically enabled.


  DRM should not prevent the operation of technologies designed to make content accessible to those with disabilities.

27 February 2006

24   S 45 CDPA 1988. Back

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