MPs extend deadline for public DRM consultation

You only have a few more days to tell the government what you think about digital rights management

An inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) into the issues surrounding digital rights management (DRM) has extended its deadline for submissions from the public due to popular demand, it claims.

The inquiry, which was launched in November, is investigating issues such as whether free software licences need legislation changes to be effective, how consumers should be protected when DRM systems are discontinued and what legal sanctions those who circumvent DRM systems should face.

DRM recently hit the headlines due to the discovery of Sony DRM technology that used a rootkit to hide itself and so could pose a security risk. Sony has now suspended production of the rootkit CDs and has settled a class action lawsuit over the technology.

The deadline for written submissions was originally at the end of December but has been extended to 13 January to allow more people to participate. Derek Wyatt, the chairman of APIG and the Labour MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that over 60 different organisations have already submitted evidence to the inquiry.

A spokesman for the FFII said on Tuesday that it plans to submit evidence before the Friday deadline.

The inquiry will be holding an "oral evidence session" on 2 February, when APIG officers will question a "cross-selection" of respondents on their submissions, according to an APIG spokesman. Members of the public who are not giving evidence at these sessions are unlikely to be able to attend because of the limited space available at the House of Commons.

The final report on the inquiry's findings is due in March, Wyatt said.

More details on the consultation and how to submit evidence can be found on the APIG Web site.