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MJ Ray spoke about Digital Rights Restrictions Technologies (DRRT or DURT) at the "New Enclosures" session organised by the ETC Group and the Green Party of Europe at the European Social Forum in London on Saturday 16 October. He gave a general overview of the methods currently being used, a survey of EU laws (the EU Copyright Directive, EUCD) and a summary of the dangers for free software. Laurence Vandewalle of the Green Party of Europe spoke about the current state of software patents in the same session.

Similar tactics have been used in other fields, with systems like Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURT) being used to assume control over agriculture. In general, patenting displaces weaker measures like contracts or copyrights. Then, establishment displaces patenting, with the state collecting use fees for the whole country through taxes. Once regulated by the state, it is very difficult to enter the "enclosed" market without reforming the state in some small way.

The term "new enclosure" draws parallels with the Acts of Enclosure used in the UK to turn common lands into private property. Then, commoners could not contest the enclosures because they were not represented in the right parts of government.

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Transcript available on request. Recording of session or just my talk may follow eventually. Watch fsfe-uk for announcement.

-- Mark J Ray, 24/10/2023