February 01, 2011 | Peter Bradwell

ORG calls for DRM evidence

There is rarely a pause for breath in the debate about copyright and intellectual property. But over the next couple of months there are lots of reviews and consultations going on, both in the UK and at the EU, that give everyone a chance to make a coherent, well-argued case for their vision of the copyright rule-book directly to policy makers and the people around them. If you have something to say about copyright, now is the time to be saying it. Here at Open Rights Group we will be making our strongest possible case for a regime of rules and enforcement that promote innovation and creativity, and also respect basic rights such as freedom of expression and privacy. We don’t think the current direction of IP and copyright policy gets it right on either count. And we’d like your help to explain why.

Aside from the Judicial Review intervention, first up is our submission for the 'Hargreaves review of Intellectual Property'. Today we’re issuing a call for evidence to inform our submission to the Review.

We know that there has been plenty of under-the-radar harm caused to ordinary consumers by ‘Digital Rights Management’ (DRM) over the past years. And we wouldn’t want that left out of the Review’s evidence base. It might be seeing the service you bought content on disappear, making your purchased music or films useless. Perhaps you bought an iPod or other music player and discovered too late that the format of your legally purchased music collection wasn’t supported. It might be that you bought music or film on one platform and found that unnecessarily restricted your subsequent choices about where to watch it, listen to it, or read it.

If you have had experiences of ‘DRM’ that you think we should hear, let us know. You’ll be helping us make the case that it can cause unnecessary, often financial, harm to ordinary consumers. Share this call with as many people as you can. The more evidence the better.

You can email your stories to me directly. Ideally we would appreciate short submissions that clearly set out your experience and the consequences of it. If it is possible to estimate how much money you spent on content featuring DRM, please do so. The deadline for your submissions to us is Wednesday 16th February.

We would also suggest taking a look at the Review website and consider putting in a submission. They’re really keen to see contributions backed by hard evidence, whether based on data or ‘case studies and individual experience.’ If you have either, tell them.