Lescure report and DRM: good intentions nullified by three letters: CSA

Paris, May 13th, 2013. Press release.

Last Monday, May 13th, Pierre Lescure delivered his report in the context of the mission “Act II of the cultural exception”1. About DRM (digital handcuffs)2, the report reveals good intentions but recommends a solution which makes them useless.

The Lescure report deals with numerous subjects and one of its key proposals is to extend the regulatory powers of the French Broadcasting Authority (CSA)3 to the Internet. In particular, it would be in charge of regulating the legal online offer and implementing a new version of the Internet three strikes law (in place of the current Hadopi4). Read the reaction of La Quadrature du Net.

Some of the report proposals show good intentions, such as promoting the development of open standards or the use of free licenses. Section A-14 “technical measures of protection, interoperability and private copy” indicates for example that DRM are subjected to “recurring consumer protest” and “may in some cases infringe on user rights.”

However, far from acknowledging the failure of DRM regulation by a high authority such as the Hadopi,5 the Lescure report suggests transferring to the CSA (The French Broadcasting Authority) the role of DRM regulator by slightly widening its missions. Furthermore, even though the report states that DRM “help build closed and oligopolistic” ecosystems, and “impede competition and innovation,” their abolition is not even considered.

“Were it still necessary to prove it, the recent referral to Hadopi by VideoLAN —this example was quoted by the Lescure mission— shows the absurdity of DRM regulation by any Hadopi- or CSA-like authority. The only way out is to implement a bona-fide right to interoperability for all citizens. We hope the legislators will grab the opportunity of setting up this right and abrogating any contrary legislative measure such as the DADVSI law,” said Frédéric Couchet, April's executive director.

About April

Pioneer of Free Software in France, April is since 1996 a major player in the democratisation and the spread of Free Software and open standards to the general public, professionals and institutions in the French-speaking world. In the digital era that is ours, it also aims to inform the public on the dangers of an exclusive appropriation of information an knowledge by private interests.

The association has over 5,000 members, using or producing Free Software.

For more information, you may go to the following website: http://www.april.org/, contact us by phone at +33 178 769 280 or through our contact form.

Press contacts:

Frédéric Couchet, Executive Director, fcouchet@april.org +33 660 688 931
Jeanne Tadeusz, Public Affairs Officer, jtadeusz@april.org +33 1 78 76 92 82

  • 1. Original news (in French), Volume 1 of the report (PDF, summaries and detailed index entries in 40 pages, 486 pages, in French), Volume 2 of the report (methodology, audition lists... 233 pages).
  • 2. For more information about DRM, read the3. The French Broadcasting Authority, the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), created in 1989, is a French institution whose role is to regulate the various electronic media in France, such as radio and television, up to and possibly including censorship (source Wikipedia.
  • 4. For more information about Hadopi visit the Wikipedia page
  • 5. In 2006, the DADVSI law (DADVSI is the French DMCA-like law. For more information visit the Wikipedia page) set up the Authority for the regulation of technical measures (ARMT), whose mission was integrated to Hadopi's in 2009.