EMI may open its DRM to inspection

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked EMI, the music company, to open its digital rights management software for public inspection. EMI says the issue is now under review.

An advocacy group for digital rights, EFF asked EMI last month to publicly declare that it would not take any legal action against independent computer security researchers who investigate copy-restriction technologies used on EMI’s CDs. EMI, according to a report by ZDNet UK, said it had received the letter and was reviewing the matter.

EFF is concerned that the copy-restriction licensing agreements included in EMI’s CDs forbid computer researchers from reverse-engineering the DRM to test it, ZDNet reported. The EFF also noted “some copy-protection vendors have leveled legal threats against security researchers in the past.”

Security researchers want to investigate EMI’s DRM technologies to make sure they don’t employ the same controversial root kit technologies that were recently used by Sony BMG, ZDNet said.

An EMI spokesman told ZDNet UK that it was “clearly labeled” on EMI Group CDs that they were content-protected and that EMI had “no root kit issues.” The spokesman added that the software on the CDs “never loads DRM onto a user’s hard drive without the user’s permission.”

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