EMI: We don't use rootkits

By Ingrid Marson

Story last modified Mon Nov 07 06:53:00 PST 2005

The EMI Group, one of the world's largest recording companies, has distanced
itself from the controversy surrounding digital rights management (DRM)
software used by Sony BMG by stating that it does not use rootkits on its
own products.

Sony has been criticized for including DRM software with a music CD that
runs even when the CD is not being played, and hides itself using rootkit
technology. The software is difficult to remove and, if removed manually,
could shut off access to the computer's CD player.

It has been rumored that other recording giants including EMI and the
Universal Music Group use technology similar to that used by Sony; an EMI
spokesman said on Friday that the DRM used on EMI's CDs can be completely
removed if the user doesn't want to play the CD any more.

"The content-protection software that we're using can be easily uninstalled
with a standard uninstaller that comes on the disc. EMI is not using any
software that hides traces of the program. There is no 'rootkit' behavior,
and there are no processes left running in the background," said an EMI
spokesman in a statement.

EMI also said it was not working with First 4 Internet, the U.K. company
that created the copy-restriction software for Sony, although it is trialing
other content-protection software.

"EMI is not using First 4 Internet technology. We recently completed a trial
of three content-protection technologies (Macrovision's CDS300, SunnComm's
MediaMax and SonyDADC's key2audioXS), and First 4 Internet's technology was
not one of those tested," said the spokesman.

Universal Music Group was unable to provide comment in time for this

Although Sony's use of rootkits has sparked an outcry, users would find it
difficult to sue Sony in the U.K., even if their computer was damaged by its
copy-restriction software, according to legal experts.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK

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