Government use of DRM represents a particularly difficult issue. Some argue that government should never use DRM systems (thereby eliminating the need for a circumvention right), maintaining that it runs counter other government priorities such as openness and accountability. Even governments themselves have acknowledged the problems associated with DRM. Last week, New Zealand issued guidelines on government use of DRM and trusted computing systems featuring a lengthy list of precautions and safeguards. They included requirements of minimal restrictions on content, assurances of future accessibility, full respect for privacy rights, retention of government control over a DRM-free version, and full access for all parties entitled to obtain the public information.
The Canadian government response to the DRM must address several issues.