France Establishes DRM Watchdog

As part of my 30 Days of DRM series last summer, I called for the creation of a new collaborative body that would provide on-demand reviews for new circumvention rights.  I argued that the U.S. DMCA process, which occurs once every three years, simply does not provide the public with sufficient protection against DRM misuse and the need to identify potential exceptions rapidly.

Today, Nicolas Jondet reports that France has moved in precisely this direction.  Effective this month, there is a new French DRM agency charged with focusing on interoperability and ensuring that users are not prevented by DRM from utilizing copyright exceptions (or user rights).  The agency is composed of six members and has the power to levy significant fines.  While the agency isn't perfect – private copying is largely excluded from its ambit – it is a step in the right direction and represents yet another illustration of protection from DRM.

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