Commission promotes digital rights management for Internet content

The Commission wants to promote “open, flexible and interoperable Digital Rights Management Systems (DRMS)” for the protection and distribution of digital content on the Internet.

Commissioner Erkki Liikanen, responsible for Information Society, and Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, responsible for the Internal Market, urged stakeholders to settle their differences on technologies for the protection and distribution of digital content on the Internet. Mr Liikanen added that "content and creativity are the life-blood of the Information Society and the knowledge-based society".

There currently are strongly divergent views among the different stakeholders on how to implement DRMS and on the requirements necessary to make them acceptable to rightholders and consumers. This divide is threatening the prospects for the rapid availability of user-friendly DRMS, which in turn could have serious consequences for the supply of attractive online content, services and applications over the Internet. DRMS are technologies that describe and identify digital content protected by intellectual property rights, and enforce usage rules set by rightholders or prescribed by law for digital content. Member States have until the end of the year to implement a Directive of May 2001 on the harmonisation of copyright and related rights in the Information Society.


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