Two new INDICARE documents published
INDICARE proudly presents the findings of its second European consumer survey. While the first focussed on music consumption, this one is about European Internet users consuming digital video content. The article by Nicole Dufft of INDICARE Partner Berlecon Research – responsible for the survey – summarizes the main findings. It shows that digital video content is becoming popular in Europe. We learn about consumers' usage habits and expectations, about their willingness to pay for usage rights and their awareness of DRM. The complete survey results are available for free (Dufft et al. 2006).

Kristòf Kerényi, SEARCH Laboratory, organizer of the fifth INDICARE workshop on “Human Factors of DRM” summarizes what he personally found the most interesting facts and conclusions. He especially highlights the session about accessibility for the blind, and the presentations from consumer initiatives. The official report of the workshop, which took place in Budapest on 19 January 2006, will be available from the INDICARE Website in March 2006.

More about the present issue
Contracts, copyright, and courts
Lars Grøndal, a legal advisor for the Consumer Council of Norway, currently working for BEUC (The European Consumers’ Organisation), digs into the contractual terms consumers often accept without being aware of the content. The focus is on contract terms with respect to DRM in the field of online music. The "Terms of Service" (ToS) of iTunes are taken as an example. The article reveals that these ToS contain unfair terms not conforming with the law. In Norway, the Consumer Council has therefore complained to the Consumer Ombudsman in order to get iTunes terms amended. However, as Grøndal makes clear from the beginning, his article is not primarily about iTunes. The type of unfair terms identified is not unique to iTunes, indicating a more general problem in online markets for digital goods and thus constituting a public policy issue.

Matthias Spielkamp, iRights.info, starts from the assumption that the implementation of the EUCD confuses consumers and has made copyright an enigma for laypersons. This point is demonstrated impressively by a case study looking at file-sharing in the light of corresponding legislation in Germany. His conclusion is that publicly funded, impartial consumer information is needed as rights holders can not be expected to provide it. iRights.info, funded by the Ministry for Consumer Protection in Germany, is of course an initiative he has in mind. Beyond the national level he sees a need for multi-national, multi-language efforts at the EU level.

Natali Helberger, IViR, INDICARE's most eloquent legal expert has already been watching developments in France for a while. This time she contributes two closely related pieces of legal analysis. The first article discusses the latest court decision in France with respect to private copying of protected content: Christophe R. vs Warner Music. The court concluded that TPM has to respect the private copying exception. This case underlines that until now, courts had to deal with consumers' complaints about copy-protected CDs or DVDs, while the legislator hesitated to implement the EUCD.

And that's exactly the subject of Helberger's second article Vive la Balance! Pleading for a French revolution of copyright. The French Parliament launched "Le Project de Loi N° 1206" in order to bring about the long-pending implementation of the EUCD, including, of course, the provisions about TPM. The analysis of the draft shows Natali's disappointment. Given the vivid public debate about DRM and consumers, and the recent court decisions, the drafted law falls short of expectations. To hold DRM users liable for compliance with the law is regarded as a step in the right direction. She criticises, however, that such obligation is of little value without accompanying measures that guarantee its enforcement. By the way, despite the title, Natali is not really pleading for a new revolution. "Creating the conditions for a more consumer-friendly DRM environment is not revolutionary…" she says. But sometimes a necessary reform in a difficult environment against the mainstream might be worth being called a revolution anyway.

Alternative models for content distribution
Daniel A. Nagy, developer of the ePointSystem, working with INDICARE partner SEARCH, comes up with an interesting content distribution framework. The proposed framework relies on peer-to-peer digital payment. It aims at unprotected content, however DRM techniques can aid the business models to become more efficient by reducing transaction costs, e.g. reducing the load on the operators or helping to exclude free-riders. In these scenarios, users of DRM-enabled devices, i.e. consumers, have no incentive to attack DRM systems.

OECD conference report
Philipp Bohn, Berlecon Research, reports about the Future Digital Economy conference, Rome, 30 and 31 January 2006, which was organized by the OECD and the Italian Minister of Innovation and Technology. More precisely he summarizes what was said about DRM at the conference, and in particular during a panel session addressing “Content diffusion: IPR, DRM, licensing, content security, standards”.

Review of privacy4DRM
Knud Böhle, ITAS, reviews a study sponsored by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Privay4DRM appears to be a noteworthy contribution to conformance testing of DRM systems with respect to privacy and data protection provisions. The scrutiny of data flows and data traces when using DRM systems reveals significant shortcomings. The authors propose to improve the situation by more transparency, end-user involvement, pseudonymity options, and "privacy labels".

Focus theme: Trust, DRM and TC
Mark Bide, Senior Consultant, Rightscom Limited, holds that "informed consumers should welcome the implementation of effective DRM – if it meets their needs". This article can be read as a kind of introduction to the focus theme as it opens up the broader perspective. The general message is that we must think in terms of “network citizenship”, which includes as a major task managing trust on the network. The core concept he introduces is “Digital Policy Management”, a concept which allows for combinations of trust, good will, law and technical protection measures. "Consumers", he says, "will welcome the introduction of digital policy management technology … only if it also offers a solution to their underlying security and identity problems and contributes to the maintenance of civil society on the network, with all the complex checks and balances that this implies."

Robert A. Gehring, member of the research group for Computers & Society at the Technical University of Berlin, explains  as precisely as possible within a short article  the relationship between trusted computing (TC) systems and digital rights management (DRM). In his view TC components are tools – in themselves neither good nor bad – which can be used to build DRM systems or to protect "darknets". He warns that strong DRM systems based on TC do not per se guarantee successful business models if consumer expectations are not met.

The next article by Dirk Kuhlmann, Hewlett Packard Laboratories, Bristol, describes a new Integrated Project (IP) funded by the European Commission, called OpenTC. Kuhlmann has the overall technical lead for the OpenTC project. OpenTC aims to combine TC technology and FOSS and to demonstrate advantages of this approach. The author is convinced that enhanced protection and security based on TCG technology will become standard, and that professional users of non-proprietary operating systems (like Linux) and software will ask for comparable protection mechanisms – independent of whether FOSS communities like it or not. OpenTC aims to fill this gap. Furthermore it claims that the combination of TC and FOSS will have advantages in terms of privacy, efficiency, openness, and consequently user acceptance. The author is fully aware that a lively public discussion is going on about TC, and about the possible combination of TC and FOSS.

Florian Schreiner, Michael Pramateftakis and Oliver Welter, computer scientists from Munich University of Technology, are partners in the OpenTC project aiming to create a DRM system which governs the use of all kinds of sensitive data from the medical sector to entertainment. The system proposed differs from others, because it will be open-source and will use the TPM-Chip to enforce security. Advantages expected are: interoperability with other DRM Systems, transparency, convenience for users, and support of legacy software.

Gergely Tóth, SEARCH Laboratory, writes about the next version of the Symbian operating system for mobile phones, which incorporates Trusted Computing based security features. Mobile phones using the Symbian v9.1 operating system will probably be used for DRM-based applications. Multi-media phones like Nokia N91 and the Sony Ericsson W950i said to implement the Symbian operating system and provided with a 4 GB internal hard disk obviously point in that direction of mobile phones able play and to handle protected digital music.

Last not least Arnd Weber, ITAS, Karlsruhe, and his brother Dirk A. Weber, an IT-Consultant, have reviewed recent works by legal scholar Stefan Bechtold dealing with the risks of trusted computing from a regulatory point of view. The reviewers present Bechtold's arguments and his general view that there are possibly many risks involved, but that they could be handled by skilful design of TC-architectures and proper institutional arrangements. The main threats identified are: dominance of players, lack of capabilities to deal with copyright exceptions, and loss of privacy. The reviewers however not only summarize the risks and remedies mentioned by Bechtold, but also critically remark that Bechtold might be overoptimistic as he seems to assume that all the hard- and software built on TCG-principles will work properly. This, however, may not be the case.

Sources

About the author: Knud Böhle is researcher at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at Research Centre Karlsruhe since 1986. Between October 2000 and April 2002 he was visiting scientist at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Seville (IPTS). He is specialised in Technology Assessment and Foresight of ICT and has led various projects. Currently he is the editor of the INDICARE Monitor. Contact: + 49 7247 822989, knud.boehle@itas.fzk.de

Status: first posted 06/03/06; licensed under Creative Commons; included in the INDICARE Monitor, Vol. 2, Number 12, February 2006
URL: http://www.indicare.org/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=187