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Parliamentary questions
21 September 2009
E-3793/2009
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

The CI Plus specification has been developed by a number of market players with a view to improving the existing DVB-CI(1) standard, which some players no longer consider to provide sufficient protection against attempts at unauthorised access to protected content.

As regards question one, the Commission is not aware that the CI Plus specification, which has been developed by a number of market players, has so far entered into any formal standardisation processes, either with the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) or with the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (Cenelec). The Commission would welcome it if market players agreed formally on technical standards for enhanced conditional access solutions with a European standards organisation.

As regards questions two and five, it has to be stressed that the availability of an upgraded CI technology in general has the potential to contribute to innovation and growth in the digital pay-TV market. In particular, it can be expected that content owners will be encouraged to make more high-value pay-TV content available to viewers if they can rely on a technology which provides sufficient protection. The Commission will continue to monitor market developments in this field closely in order to preserve undistorted competition.

With respect to question three, the CI Plus specification and an interim licence agreement are available to manufacturers via the CI Plus website(2). Monitoring implementation of the proposed licensing policy is part of the Commission's effort to ensure fair competition and facilitate interoperability.

As regards question four, the CI Plus logo can be used to indicate this feature on products. The Commission is not currently considering proposing compulsory labelling for equipment fitted with CI Plus interfaces. The CI Plus specification is downward compatible to the DVB-CI standard. This means that signals broadcast in the DVB-CI standard can be viewed if CI Plus is used. Therefore, broadcasters have the choice of broadcasting either signals compatible with the DVB-CI technology to all viewers who use DVB-CI or CI Plus technology or ensuring better content protection and addressing only viewers using CI Plus technology.

(1)DVB-CI stands for digital video broadcasting- common interface.
(2)See http://www.ci-plus.com/

Last updated: 24 September 2009Legal notice