European Copyright Directive threatens software interoperability

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European Copyright Directive threatens software interoperability

Cliff Saran
Government plans to implement the European Copyright Directive could damage IT security research and hamper developers' efforts to create interoperable software, the UK Campaign for Digital Rights (CDR) has warned.

In a paper criticising the proposals, CDR said amendments to the Directive proposed by the UK Patent Office would, "enable a software company to exert complete control over the creation of interoperable products".

It went on to say, "there can be little doubt that unless provision is made to legalise decompilation of software, companies will abuse the anti-circumvention provisions to erect formidable barriers against anyone seeking to write software interoperable with their own".

The group also warned that under the proposed changes made by the UK Patent Office, cryptographic research would be put at risk. It recommended that, "language must be introduced into the proposal providing cryptographic researchers with immunity from prosecution".

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