UK Government Approves DRM

A while ago I signed a petition to the UK Prime Minster’s office against DRM, and a response came back today. Not good and containing plenty of nonsense, sadly.

The petition was:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to investigate the legality and fairness of DRM, specifically SecuROM. With more and more consumers being effectively handcuffed by games producers using draconian methods of DRM, we require the government to protect our rights as consumers by investigating this issue. We maintain that “limited installs” and “online activation” are both misleading, immoral and discriminatory. We also maintain that our rights of resale are being infringed by said DRM methods.

The Government’s response:

The Government wants as many people as possible to enjoy all the benefits that broadband internet can bring. New technology has changed the way people want to use and access media content, in some cases faster than products and services commercially on offer have developed. But we are also clear that the benefits of the internet must include economic benefits for our creative industries and artists.

Of course DRM is about more than just preventing people doing things, it is also about enabling content and other companies to make their material available in more sophisticated ways, offering different deals at different price ranges for example. But it is also employed as a “policeman”, and it is particularly in those circumstances that the utilisation of DRM by rights holders can be controversial.

Generally speaking the Government considers that DRM remains a legitimate tool for industry to use so long, obviously, as its utilisation stays within the general legal framework. If consumers are resistant then there may well be commercial advantage to offering DRM-free goods, as is happening in the music industry – but as a tool it is reasonable to leave it as something to be deployed as appropriate.

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The UK Government Approves DRM by David Crossland, except the quotations and unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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