Reda Report: A Pitiful Shower of Amendments to Salvage DRM (Digital Handcuffs)

Paris, 12 March 2015. For immediate release.

Many MEPs proposed amendments in the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), with the intention of destroying any advances from the Reda Report. This disheartening behaviour should urgently be opposed. Should these amendments be adopted, digital handcuffs (DRM) would get a free pass and continue to exert their harmful restrictive measures. April calls for mobilisation to help inform MEPs of the JURI Committee before the upcoming debates on 23 and 24 March 2015.

On 20 January 2015, MEP Julia Reda presented before the JURI Committee of the European Parliament her report on adaptation of the Copyright Directive (12 pages)1. This report points to practical ways of reforming copyright, including the issue of DRM (digital handcuffs).

As we mentioned in a previous press release, by linking the legal protection of DRMs to the publication of their source code or interface specifications, Julia Reda's intention is to create an effective right to technical measures interoperability (paragraph 24 of her report). However, to be fully effective, this proposition must be pushed further: to implement interoperable solutions, all technical information which is found necessary for interoperability, encryption keys in particular, must be made available. From a legal standpoint, the right to publish the source code and technical documentation for an independent piece of software (intended to interoperate with, say, a given DRM) must therefore be guaranteed.

Far from these considerations, the set of amendments contains ten amendments deleting paragraph 242, proposed by 22 MEPs, and three amendments which modify this paragraph3 by weakening it or simply gutting it of any substance. “Unfortunately, controlling, imposing restrictions, jailing are methods which still elicit complacency from the MEPs, who are incapable of suggesting ways to enhance the inital proposition on DRM,” declared Frédéric Couchet, Executive Director of April.

April calls on all citizens to reach out to members of the JURI Committee, inform them of the problems raised by DRM, and ask them to reject amendments which delete paragraph 24 of the Reda Report or render it useless.

About April

A pioneer of Free Software in France since 1996, April is a major player in the democratisation of Free Software and open standards, and in their spread to the general public, professionals and institutions of 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 and knowledge by private interests.

The organisation is a non-profit and it has over 4,000 members, who use or produce Free Software.

For more information, you may visit, contact us by phone at +33 1 78 76 92 80, or use our contact form.

Press contact:

Frédéric Couchet, Executive Director, +33 6 60 68 89 31

  • 1. Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (also known as the European Union Copyright Directive, EUCD)
  • 2. Amendments # 539, 540, 541, 542, 543, 544, 545, 546, 547, 548
  • 3. Amendments # 549, 550, 551