APIG announces findings of its public inquiry into Digital Rights Management

July 2006

Record labels, film & television, technology

The United Kingdom’s All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) has released its report into Digital Rights Management (DRM). The Inquiry received over 90 written submissions from consumers, think-tanks, libraries, print media publishers, the film and music industries and lawyers. An oral evidence session was organised at the House of Commons in February when a cross selection of the respondents were invited to give evidence to APIG officers. Key points of the report were:

  • A recommendation   that   the   Office   of   Fair   Trading   (OFT)   bring   forward appropriate   labelling   regulations   so   that   it   will   become   crystal   clear   to consumers what they will and will not be able to do with digital content that they purchase.
  • A recommendation that OFCOM publish guidance to make it clear that companies distributing Technical Protection Measures systems in the UK would, if they have features such as those in Sony-BMG’s  MediaMax  and  XCP  systems,  run  a  significant  risk  of  being prosecuted for criminal actions.
  • A recommendation that the Department of Trade and Industry investigate the single-market issues that were raised during the Inquiry, with a view to addressing the issue at the European level.
  • A recommendation  that  the  government  do  not  legislate  to  make  DRM  systems mandatory.
  • A recommendation that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport review the level  of funding for  pilot  projects that  address  access  to  eBooks  by  those  with visual disabilities and that action is taken if they are failing to achieve positive results.
  • A recommendation that the Department of Trade and Industry revisit the results of their review into their moribund “IP Advisory Committee” and reconstitute it as several  more  focused  forums.  One of these should be a “UK Stakeholders Group” to be chaired by the British Library.
  • A recommendation that the Government consider granting a much wider-ranging exemption   to   the   anti-circumvention   measures   in   the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act for genuine academic research.
  • A recommendation that having taken advice from the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel,  the  Department  for  Culture,  Media  and  Sport  hold  a  formal public  consultation,  not  only  on  the  technical  details,  but  also  on  the  general principles that have been established.http://www.apig.org.uk/index/APIG_DRM_Report-final.pdf

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