The Digital Media Project  
Source L. Chiariglione, M. Springer
Title Proposed response to European Commission consultation paper No. 080109chiariglione01


Proposed response to European Commission consultation paper

This living text designed to help providing a response to the European Commission consultation paper.

This document is submitted by the Digital Media Project (DMP) in response to the invited made in [1] to all stakeholders are to take position on the elements listed in the Annex to [1]

DMP is a not-for-profit organisation with the mission to “promote continuing successful development, deployment and use of Digital Media that respect the rights of creators and rights holders to exploit their works, the wish of end users to fully enjoy the benefits of Digital Media and the interests of various value-chain players to provide products and services, according to the principles laid down in the Digital Media Manifesto”.


Question 1.

a. The format has always been the force driving consumer adoption of new content distribution forms

b. Interoperability can play exactly the same role in the digital space

c. To have a meaningful discussion Interoperability must be defined. From the consumer viewpoint this is the ability to play the same type of content obtained from different providers with the same device

d. In the digital space Interoperability is not just at the level of consumer devices, but also at the level of other devices that market players employ to do business between them in ways that are unpredictable and still must me technically supported

e. Fully interoperable DRM systems can be achieved through the use of single toolkit DRM standard, like the one integrated by the Digital Media Project (IDP) using standard ISO/IEC technologies (MPEG-21) and implemented in Open Source Software (Chillout) will support the development of online creative content services in the Internal Market

f. Without a single DRM standard Interoperability between DRM systems will not be achieved. Indeed making DRM Systems technically interoperable is easy and does not even require standards, but market players can hardly be expected to decide spontaneously to interoperate

g. There may well be commendable practices as regards DRM interoperability. These offer too little to entice consumers who will stay with the full interoperability they have today

Question 2.

a. If content is distributed in Europe using a standard, open specification DRM which is also available as OSS, the issues of interoperability and personal data protection are immediately solved

Concerning consumers' information in respect of DRM systems it must be noted that DRM is not black or white. Digital distribution of content using digital versions of Creative Commons licences is a form of DRM which does not require (indeed it should not have) any Rights Enforcement. It is conceivable that some form of long tail content will need lightweight technologies for Rights Management Information (e.g. watermarking) while premium content will need strong Rights Enforcement (e.g. encryption). These three (and possibly more) levels of DRM could be signalled on content and devices.

Question 5.

a. In many cases digital media need DRM (in the broader sense explained above). Therefore ensuring a non-discriminatory access to DRM solutions is needed to preserve and foster competition on the market for digital content distribution

b. Today setting up a proprietary DRM infrastructure is very costly and this discriminates against SMEs. Imposing access to a proprietary DRM technology has a long list of “things impossible”.

c. The toolkit DRM standard of the DMP solves this problem because some critical components of the infrastructure need not be considered (e.g. players are available from the free market) and components/solutions are cheap because they are available from multiple suppliers.

Questions 10 and 11.

a. The French MoU, if implemented, raises serious concerns regarding the right of citizens to have their communication kept private. It is unnecessary if the proposals contained in this report are implemented