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BEUC protesting against DRM and P2P lawsuits

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Nov 2005 17:51 User comments (6)

BEUC protesting against DRM and P2P lawsuits European Consumers' Organization, BEUC is protesting against Digital Rights Management and the litigation against file sharers. It is a federation of 40 independent national consumer organizations from the EU, accession and EEA countries. Its job is to try to influence, in the consumer interest, the development of EU policy and to promote and defend the interests of all European consumers.
Some days ago, as many of you have probably seen, the organisation issued a press release titled "Consumers are not pirates". For those of you who have not seen it, here it is..

"P2P is like stealing a CD in a shop!", "We have to protect artists who are being robbed by consumers on the Internet!".

We are being fed this type of "truth" thanks to the efforts of certain major music and film industry interests.

For this reason, we are launching today with a press conference in the European Parliament and with the support of Mrs Zuzana Roithová MEP, a Campaign supported by a "Declaration of Consumers’ Digital Rights", which aim to ensure that the following rights are recognised, enshrined in EU law and enforced:

  • Right to choice, knowledge and cultural diversity;
  • Right to the principle of “technical neutrality” – defend and maintain consumer rights in the digital environment;
  • Right to benefit from technological innovations without abusive restrictions;
  • Right to interoperability of content and devices;
  • Right to the protection of privacy;
  • Right not to be criminalised.

In addition the declaration calls for industry to desist from legal action against P2P downloaders to allow the market to find solutions for the on-line development of audio/visual distribution, and for action to ensure that DRM users respect consumer privacy and fair use rights.

"The industry insists on "informing", or rather "misinforming" consumers on what they cannot do in the digital world. We believe it is high time to guarantee consumers certain basic rights in the digital world and to tell them what they can do with their digital hardware and content", said Jim Murray, BEUC Director.

In order to show the problems consumers face, we are also publishing today the results of two pan-European surveys on cultural diversity online and on interoperability between online music stores. The results of these tests can be found on our new website


Thanks to Daniel_G for the News Submission.

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6 user comments

114.11.2005 20:14

I'm not European and haven't heard of this group so I don't know how powerful they are or how much influence they actually do have over EU policy...but, they have a great message and it's very refreshing to see some collaborative action taken FOR the people. I hope they are able to influence the law there. I especially like the ideas behind two of the entries in their "Declaration of Consumers' Digital Rights" -- the right to benefit from technological innovations without abusive restrictions, and the right not to be criminalized. On the latter, isn't it amazing that we actually need to 'declare' such a right in the free world? The rights of consumers in the digital environment is an issue that is easily put on the back-burner in today's political setting. We are lucky to have proactive groups such as this to counteract the propoganda we are flooded with and to defend the common consumers. Each time such a group emerges, I see the light at the end of the tunnel grow brighter.

218.11.2005 9:12

i agree with you yeardley. finally someone is seeing things besides $$$ that has some power. im not european either but i do hope some group like this pops up in the US and makes themselves heard.

318.11.2005 15:38

For all the goodwill & moral righteousness thie group represents, they'll never overcome the financial power they're fighting, OR the global apathy of consumers. Record companies know that the expense of beating these people to bloody pulps in court is a fraction of the loot they stand to get from disinformed buyers who think the FBI gives 2 $#!+$ about what you do with a DVD/CD/iTune. And those same buyers don't care that they're being disinformed because it's cheaper to buy the crap that's being advertised on every available square millimeter of TV/cell phone/gas pump/theater screen than it would be to get sued for doing something that's legal & moral.

420.11.2005 8:51

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,FREE WORLD some still say,,,i say $$$$$world...and if you have none of those.....y'oure done like those sick chickens nowadays..those guys blinded everybody with the example of the BAD USSR for 50 years.......OOPS there is no more USSR and since it comes up more and more often ,,,has anyone ever realized that the restrictions have been there to keep everybody in line ,,,separate to better govern and control,, by every wich way possible,,,and those restrictions are voted in place of laws by influenced politicians who revere today's gods ,,,$$$$$$$...and at the end the elected dont decide...the money industries petroleum,,armements,, do for them ,,,and the politicians of THAT BBBIIIIIIGGGGGG country wich sticks his nose everywhere around the globe ..let them do what they want at their will as they wish...and then put all that Hollywood power in the hands of politicians to powerfully under menaces show the world that they are right,"IF THEY ARE NOT WITH US ..THEY'RE AGAINST US",,because they were put in place by a people half asleep who claim God$$$$ is american but wonder why starved and bombed peoples are always trying to get out of that big country's domination AND HAVE TO FIGHT AND DIE for it,, I SAY THANK GOD I AM NOT LIVING IN THAT $$$ ROTTEN COUNTRY ,,,where ordinary peoples have few ressources and where some have to work for 3.00$ an hour or starve too,,i still dream of a peopple who wakes up one day ans rids the whole country from profiteerers in their governements and MAKE IT A REAL FREE COUNTRY IN THIS WORLD,,,THEY USED TO SAY 'THE EAGLE HAS LANDED'well nowadays it does'nt even dare to get out of his nest fearing to be shot at ,,some have a long way to go before they get to the free world

520.11.2005 9:01

badaboy you got some issues dude, your post didn't make any sense what so ever.

620.11.2005 15:27

Hmm. I don't get it do you smoke crack, read the Communist Manifesto, and post on AD at the same time? I need two hands just to light a candle. @ steve83 - I don't see this group as some idealized waste of time representing "goodwill and moral righteousness." As we know it isn't about morals. The big companies try to hit us in our moral weakspots, and direct our attention away from their unETHICAL deeds. Luckily, I think the EU is a little less susceptible to this than 51% of the participating voters in my country. But this group seems a bit more powerful than just some doomed-from-the-start group of people with good intentions, like you're making it out to be. From the article: "It is a federation of 40 independent national consumer organizations from the EU, accession and EEA countries." It doesn't exactly sound like a pushover. And I'm more optimistic than you are. The big music/movie companies can spend all the money they want - but in the end, they're trying to control technology and weild it over our heads. When was the last time you saw an average joe consumer do something cool with technology that the big company wouldn't offer you? EVERYDAY! We love those average joes! And there's a never-ending supply of them...they are in and among us. The point is, technology does not belong to these companies, so it's not theirs to weild. Badaboy -- you seem like you've brushed up on some history lessons lately (and severly misinterpreted them), so why don't you look into this for us? Try to find historical examples of when the big powers attempted to control the people with something that the people had equal or greater access to than the big powers themselves. I bet you'll find that in cases like this, though it may take a while, the people always win. Especially thanks to groups like this one. This is the people's voice. @ wetsparks - keep on keepin on brother

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