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AEPOC: “CA and DRM technologies are important accelerators of the EU Information Society”

European Anti-Piracy Association proposes new view on securing technologies to become enabling prerequisites of the media markets

(PresseBox) (Lausanne , ) .

- AEPOC sees role of Conditional Access (CA) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) proliferating – enabling maximum usability of digital pay media
- DRM means protection of all content stakeholders – from industrial players such as content creators and aggregators to individual consumers
- EU legal framework requires integration of provisions against audio-visual piracy in more legislation than the CA-Directive
- AEPOC welcomes new member company Poverkhnost, the leading Ukraine DTH TV platform operator

Conditional Access (CA) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems proliferate as essential technologies in the EU information society: CA and DRM solutions enable consumers to experience content – including their own creations – on very different media consumption devices, thus providing maximum flexibility of access to the rights to the content over time. This was a central conclusion of the AEPOC Board of Directors’ Meeting held on September 21 2006 in Lausanne. On this occasion the European Association for the Protection of Encrypted Works and Services also convened its Ordinary General Assembly.

In regard to the increasing number of multi-play offerings, CA and DRM systems build an inseparable technological solution to protect the rights of those in the content supply and consumption chain, while offering maximum usability of items of content purchased. “While security is the prerequisite to convince rights owners to make their content available in the first place, we see a critical role in CA and DRM to support the consumption of content on many different platforms and devices for a modern and lifestyle-oriented media consumption – thus supporting the EU goal of an Information Society”, said AEPOC President Jean Grenier. Mathieu Goudsmits, Vice Chairman AEPOC, further analysed the importance of these technologies from a consumer stand point: “Looking at the many social software platforms that put consumer created content in the focus, also individuals – as one of the stakeholders in terms of content creation – will soon wish to be able to protect their work and possibly even be rewarded for their contributions. Thus security and rights management is not only a necessity for the larger movie studios but also beneficial to every single creator and artist.”

In this context AEPOC continues intensive discussions and the exchange of views with different EU bodies in order to integrate the issue of Conditional Access – with due regard to the more recent aspects related to DRM – into several EU legislation drafts currently in preparation – besides the specific CA-Directive, which is also currently under review. While AEPOC demands more precise provisions in the Directive on Conditional Access itself, the integration of the topic into other legislation will serve to distinguish audio-visual piracy more specifically from fraud in the areas of counterfeited goods or other physical piracy related to copyright infringements: On the proposal of a new Criminal Enforcement Directive aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs), AEPOC recommends that it explicitly addresses Conditional Access and DRM in addition to brand protection and general copyrights issues.

Davide Rossi, Secretary General AEPOC, summarized the situation: “In our increasing on-demand world, protection and rights management of digital content go hand in hand if consumers are to fully benefit from the Information Society. Accordingly, we invite all players from the PC-based industries and telecommunication sectors to join forces with AEPOC to combat the fight against all illegal access of digital media on any platform or device. Piracy destroys the incentive to artistic creation and without creation there will be no content. Adequate legislation related to CA and DRM is not an obstacle but an important accelerator of the EU Information Society ”.

As audio-visual piracy is becoming increasingly an international issue of world-wide scale, AEPOC plans to hold its 4th European Anti-Piracy Symposium in collaboration with the 3rd Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy taking place on January 30 - 31 2007 in Geneva. Convened by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Interpol and the World Customs Organization, AEPOC will be participating in the congress and also be organising the next AEPOC Anti-Piracy Symposium on January 29 – coinciding with the 10th anniversary of AEPOC founded 10 years ago at the European Broadcasting Union headquarters in Geneva.

During the Ordinary General Assembly session of AEPOC the admission to membership of Ukraine DTH TV platform operator Poverkhnost was approved. AEPOC President Jean Grenier welcomed Olga Arkhipchuk and Maria Lysenko as representatives of Poverkhnost. Furthermore several changes within the AEPOC Board of Directors were decided: Christine Maury-Panis (Viaccess) has been appointed Vice Chairman as well as Andrew Curle (Irdeto), succeeding Mathieu Goudsmits (Irdeto). Jean Grenier warmly thanked Mathieu Goudsmits for the many years of support within the association on behalf of AEPOC member Philips. These appointments bring the total number of AEPOC Vice Chairmen to three, with Alastair McNeil (Canal+) having held office since 2004. Marine Jan (Nagra) has been appointed Administrator within the Board of Directors. Philips will be represented at AEPOC by Didier Zwierski.

The AEPOC meetings were kindly hosted by AEPOC member Nagra - Kudelski Group. The next AEPOC Board of Directors’ meeting is scheduled for the month of November 2006.

Note: The latest AEPOC Special Issue published by Euromedia will feature an interview with Nicola Zingaretti, Member of the European Parliament and the Legal Affairs Committee reporting on the draft of the IPR Directive. Available with the opening of Mipcom on October 9 in Cannes, the AEPOC Special Issue 2006 further presents an overview of the associations’ and members’ work, providing an in-depth background on the latest topics in the fight against piracy of audio visual media. Copies can also be obtained free of charge from AEPOC.