French Senate Waters Down DRM-Interop Bill - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
News
News
5/11/2006
04:25 PM
50%
50%

French Senate Waters Down DRM-Interop Bill

The French Senate bowed to intense lobbying pressure, passing a watered down digital copyright bill that replaces a DRM-interoperability requirement with what critics see as a useless and "irresponsible" bureaucratic-review process.

PARIS — The French Senate bowed to intense lobbying pressure, approving a watered down digital copyright bill that differs significantly from the controversial version passed at the National Assembly last March.

The new bill is likely to give Apple Computers enough leeway to keep its proprieatry digital rights management (DRM) system used in iTunes and iPod. But consumer advocates and developers of open source software here have called the Senate action late Wednesday (May 10) "irresponsible" for "having thrown away most of the work done by the National Assembly."

The bill's most controversial element, requiring "interoperability," survived the Senate debate. But the new bill no longer demands that companies like Apple give details of their DRM system to those who wish to develop interoperable systems—as stipulated initially in legislation passed by the National Assembly.

Instead, the Senate reached a compromise by adding another bureaucratic layer: creation of a new regulatory authority that would mediate requests for interoperability.

The French government will give the agency the power to order companies to share details of their DRM system, but companies will be able to refuse to do so as long as their DRM systems are approved by the author or copyright holder.

A critic of the bill complained, "Now, instead of forcing a publisher [of music or movies] to accept free competition with its DRM, the bill says that you must talk to the commission first. Then, the commission will politely ask the questions to the publisher...."

Critics of the Senate version called it "dangerous" because it can force a software publisher to integrate DRM into software "that can be used to distribute copyrighted works." The open source community consider peer-to-peer file sharing essential to their work. They said the mandate to include DRM in software can be "very harmful."

The version approved by the Senate will now go to a conference committee to iron out differences between the two versions.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
2017 State of IT Report
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll