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Will Google Oppose DRM On HTML5 Video?

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we-aint-for-it-we're-agin-it dept.

Chrome 399

An anonymous reader let us know that "Mozilla has committed to not implement DRM in Firefox for WebM HTML5 video even though it is theoretically possible. Microsoft has asked Google and the WebM community several other questions that still have not been answered, but this one seems more important: will Google commit to keeping WebM in Chrome DRM-free? Does our community think that is important for the open web and free software?"

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More Flash? (-1, Troll)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260798)

So Google is trying even harder to keep Flash relevant on the web?

Re:More Flash? (2)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261000)

So, you didn't even read the subject line this time? Just saw "google" and "html5 video" and noticed it was time for some anti-google FUD?

Re:More Flash? (2, Insightful)

znu (31198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261126)

I think the point he's making is that if there's no standards-based mechanism for delivering DRM-protected video, content providers will simply keep using Flash to do it, reducing interoperability and leading to inferior user experience.

Which is a fair point.

Re:More Flash? (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261218)

Problem is, there can't really be a standards-based mechanism for delivering DRM anything, at least not in the sense of open standards on the Web.

Right now, if I stick to HTML5 and stuff like WebM, there is the theoretical possibility of me taking nothing but existing open source stuff, or even starting from scratch, and writing software that can consume that media. Pretty much any DRM which allowed me to do that wouldn't really be doing its job as DRM.

The better route is to suck it up and leave the DRM behind.

Re:More Flash? (1)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261292)

The better route is to suck it up and leave the DRM behind.

We can't really decide that, content providers will. And instead of using WebM and HTML5, they will use Flash, Silverlight or other plugins that do provide DRM methods.

If we want content providers and sites to use HTML5, we need to provide the tools they need. No matter how much you hate it, DRM is one of them.

Re:More Flash? (2, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261358)

no, DRM makes things not searchable... there's no way Google wants that. Most of what's on YouTube doesn't NEED DRM...

The whole point of HTML5 video is so that "everyman" can use video services... for family videos... i.e all the crap that's on YouTube, Flickr, picassa, etc. HTML5 video isn't about SELLING videos... it's something that should have been done ten years ago... why should every browser not support a modern video format, like they support gif, png, jpeg? That's what everybody misses in this discussion. Everybody has their own DRM versions... I don't really see those going away, there's no reason the big guys like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe will have their own anyway...

The whole thing is bogus anyway... the big guys aren't going to give up their private DRM schemes anyway... all they're doing is stalling the process to fuck over the little people. Once Open HTML5 video hits and Google and Mozilla start implementing it then Apple and Microsoft will come along. Hell, if Adobe was clever they'd tack Vorbis and WebM into the next Flash and all the enterprise businesses would be none the wiser and keep using IE6!

No Direct Rendering Manager drivers? (5, Funny)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260806)

Direct Rendering manager belongs in the kernel, not in a user process ;) ;) ;)

What dis am bigger? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260900)

If you're confused by the fact that Direct Rendering Manager and Digital Restrictions Management share abbreviations, what name would you recommend to replace Digital Restrictions Management?

Re:What dis am bigger? (2)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260972)

If you're confused by the three emoticons at the end of his sentence, how do you suggest that one indicates that a sentence or a section is a joke?

Re:What dis am bigger? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261166)

If you're confused by the three emoticons at the end of his sentence, how do you suggest that one indicates that a sentence or a section is a joke?

Use the Blink tag. Overkill, it's the only way to be sure.

Re:What dis am bigger? (3, Funny)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261248)

HTML6 and the <sarcasm> tag haven't been approved yet, so he didn't know.

Re:What dis am bigger? (1, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260990)

I have some suggestions - but none of them are publishable. Children aren't supposed to hear language like that, if we believe the censorship people.

Re:What dis am bigger? (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261060)

>>>DRM

Digital Radio Mondiale (worldwide)
Digital Restrictions Management
Damn Record and Movie tyrants. (Same guys who claim Avatar and LOTR made no money, therefore they owe nothing to the director, scriptwriter, actors, or original author)

Re:What dis am bigger? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261096)

Digital Restrictions Layer (DRL)

"Layer" directly reflects that it's:
    - something that that isn't necessary for the underlying content
    - plastered over or embedded into the content
    - adds extra parts that add extra bits to the content that must be transmitted (and which will count
        in bandwidth caps, metered billing, and any needed storage space)
    - adds extra work for the displaying system (CPU/GPU) to do to render the content.

Re:No Direct Rendering Manager drivers? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261270)

Ah, and I already wondered what relation Digital Radio Mondiale had with HTML5 :-)

H.264 (2, Interesting)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260840)

Why are we leaving the decision up to Chrome? iOS devices are a giant chunk of the mobile market and play H.264 fine, and so do Android devices and Palm's WebOS. I'm not sure about Blackberry, but it's odd that Windows Mobile doesn't support H.264 given Microsoft's support of it. Also sites like YouTube's Mobile site are using H.264.

In light of all this, why is WebM such a big deal? Are there any vendors (aside from Google) that have products out using it (or using only it)?

Re:H.264 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35260870)

Mozilla. It's a big deal because H.264 is not a free format (as in speech or beer). It is extremely unfriendly to open source.

Re:H.264 (4, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260986)

>>>H.264... is extremely unfriendly to open source.

So then - how do open source programs like WinAmp, MP Classic, Miro, and VLC Player get away with using it? If they can do it, Chrome and Firefox should be able to do it too. (And Opera - since they are not open source at all.)

More importantly, how do I get the WebM video I just downloaded to work in my iPod? Or my TV? They only do Apple and MPEG codecs.

Re:H.264 (4, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261084)

WinAmp is open source now? Did I miss that new item on /.?

How to VLC, MediaPlayerClassic, etc. do it? They simply accept the possible patent lawsuits. There isn't anything to get from those components, because there is no company behind it with a lot of money.

Re:H.264 (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261226)

Nope, not quite. VLC and so on are all based in France, or some other country that doesn't accept software patents as valid. The majority of the world can use H.264, it's only people who want to ship products in the USA and a couple of other countries that have a problem. Unfortunately for Google, they are based in California, so they have to respect these patents.

Re:H.264 (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261272)

>>>Google...have to respect these patents.

Google could just PAY the royalty to use MPEG4 between now and 2020 (when it becomes open). They certainly have the money.

Re:H.264 (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261298)

To quote Bill Gates (in the simpsons), you don't get rich by writing a lot of checks!

Re:H.264 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261130)

The VLC website states that it is legal to use within most of Europe (emphasis theirs).

They have never claimed that it is legal to use in the USA, only that so far no-one has been sued.

They also point out that the packages they provide for Windows and OS X come with libdvdcss and may cause legal problems, and advice consulting your lawyer before use.
 

Re:H.264 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261144)

That's the client end, which can be implemented for certain applications. Mozilla is more concerned with it being open to everyone both client AND server, to keep the web free and open, like every other technology available for it.

It's just sad that people cannot understand this basic, simple fact -- all they care about is "oh, can my X play Y"? It's more deep and complex than that. If a device jumped the gun and limited itself to a proprietary technology, that was its mistake, one that Google and Mozilla are trying to correct and push out with WebM. Make devices natively and in hardware decode WebM instead of H.264.

It's really this simple. We want the technologies that run the web to be truly open and free for everyone. Anything else is unacceptable.

Re:H.264 (0, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261312)

H.264 isn't proprietary. It's an open standard. There are patents, which is a separate matter.

It's just sad that people cannot understand this basic, simple fact -- all they care about is "oh, can my X play Y"?

What's so sad about that? There are no nefarious pitfalls in using H.264, so why should people care beyond whether their X can play Y?

If a device jumped the gun and limited itself to a proprietary technology, that was its mistake, one that Google and Mozilla are trying to correct and push out with WebM. Make devices natively and in hardware decode WebM instead of H.264.

How is using H.264 a mistake? It's highly advanced and wildly successful. As for Google and Mozilla trying to "correct" this, they are not going to be able to "correct" many hundreds of millions of devices, as well as standards used by different industries and markets. To expect all of this to change, in favor of an inferior codec? Really?

Google and Mozilla are effectively marginalizing themselves and propping up Flash. All for an ideological stance that is hindering web progress and promoting an incompatible and inferior technology.

HTPC (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261296)

As others have pointed out, Winamp is still proprietary, and MP Classic and VLC media player use libavcodec without a patent license.

More importantly, how do I get the WebM video I just downloaded to work in my iPod? Or my TV? They only do Apple and MPEG codecs.

I can't help with your iPod, and in fact, Apple's poor support for free formats is part of why I bought a Samsung Pebble instead of an iPod shuffle and an Archos 43 instead of an iPod touch. But you can play WebM on your television with a home theater PC.

Re:H.264 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35260886)

Giant? iOS is a tiny chunk compared to Windows and Linux.

Mobile iOS handily beats mobile Windows (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260938)

In the long gap between Windows Mobile 6 Professional and Windows Phone 7, iOS rose to handily beats mobile Windows. Only recently did Android, a mobile environment using the Linux kernel, surpass it in installed base. In addition, with Google's failure to certify devices that aren't phones for Android Market access, iPod touch holds a virtual monopoly on PDAs that aren't phones.

Re:Mobile iOS handily beats mobile Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261220)

Windows (not WM6/WP7) has a few orders of magnitude more users than iOS. HTML5 isn't just for mobile devices.

Re:H.264 (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261350)

Giant? iOS is a tiny chunk compared to Windows and Linux.

From the post you replied to "iOS devices are a giant chunk of the mobile market". Windows and Linux are both insignificant in the mobile market.

Even broadly speaking, iOS vastly outnumbers Linux, it's not even funny. If you mean to include Android (which would be disingenuous, but the only way your statement begins to make sense), then it still significantly outnumbers even this combined "Linux", but at least not so laughably.

As for Windows, there are way more than 100 million iOS devices out there. Definitely fewer than there are Windows machines, but not something to scoff at either.

Re:H.264 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35260896)

Man, do you people think or do any research at all? Or do you just like trolling?

Mozilla Firefox (~30% of the browser market share) will never have support for H.264. Never.
Chrome (~11% of browser market share) no longer supports H.264.

H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

That's why WebM is a big deal.

Re:H.264 (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261036)

Man, do you people think or do any research at all? Or do you just like trolling?

Mozilla Firefox (~30% of the browser market share) will never have support for H.264. Never.
Chrome (~11% of browser market share) no longer supports H.264.

H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

That's why WebM is a big deal.

Back in the days when browsers were starting to embed images, were gif and jpeg royalty free? Or did we just live in a simpler time before patent trolls.

In any case, both Chrome and Firefox on windows support h264 thanks to Microsoft's meddling, I fear that h264 will be the standard. Still, not exactly worse than flash-with-h264.

Re:H.264 (1)

Josh Triplett (874994) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261112)

Back in the days when browsers were starting to embed images, were gif and jpeg royalty free? Or did we just live in a simpler time before patent trolls.

GIF required royalties to write, but not to read. Hence the existence of libungif: "a specially modified version of giflib which is free of the Unisys LZW patent. It can read all GIFs, but only write uncompressed GIFs."

Re:H.264 (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261338)

Oh, come on, this h264 support from MS is outright a . Building windows media player into a browser Don't forget that it's not just for browsers to decide. Take youtube, if all content is provided in either WebM or in a Flash container — then noone will care for h264 support in browser. Especially through a layer of a buggy windows-media player plugin. Small players will hardly support paying per view of clips published on their sites or per each encoding. The choice is quite obvious, really.

Re:H.264 (3)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261238)

>>>H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

Statement of fact made.
Too bad its untrue. There's no requirement that HTML5 codecs have to be royalty free. (At least not that I'm aware.)

As for H.264 it's already in use in billions of device from things as small as iPods, to home Televisions, to giant Movie and TV studios. It has become the defacto standard just like VHS, DVD, and Bluray.

Re:H.264 (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261354)

H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

That is not a true statement.

Royalty-Free Licensing on WebM Free Software (2)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261030)

because it's royalty-free for implementations of VP8 algorithms when those algorithms are free software implementations. this is HIGHLY significant when it comes to cost-sensitive products. even the MPEG LA group has recognised the importance of automatic royalty-free patent grants, in their call for contributions to the upcoming MPEG-2 algorithm. you should read slashdot, you know ;) or did you miss these stories last week, or did you not understand the significance?

Third parties that Google doesn't yet know about (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261322)

because it's royalty-free for implementations of VP8 algorithms

It's free of royalties from Google, but third parties that Google doesn't yet know about may hold essential patents [blogspot.com] and join a patent pool that MPEG-LA is forming.

even the MPEG LA group has recognised the importance of automatic royalty-free patent grants, in their call for contributions to the upcoming MPEG-2 algorithm.

MPEG and MPEG-LA are separate organization, and MPEG-2 is the codec used for DVD and US digital TV, not the new royalty-free MPEG standard effort [guardian.co.uk] .

Re:Royalty-Free Licensing on WebM Free Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261362)

That's incorrect. The MPEG group has asked for automatic royalty-free patent grants for the upcoming reboot of the next MPEG video standard. MPEG LA started a royalty based patent pool for WebM (although I don't think they've got any contributors yet).

Re:Royalty-Free Licensing on WebM Free Software (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261366)

You are confusing MPEG-LA with MPEG. They are different groups.

Re:H.264 (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261308)

In light of all this, why is WebM such a big deal? Are there any vendors (aside from Google) that have products out using it (or using only it)?

Google Shopping returns 80,000 hits for H.264.

30,000 or so for H.264 CCTV applications like video security.

102 hits for WebM -
of which maybe ten are relevant, all software transcoders, no hardware of any kind.

Do you own a digital HDTV set, a set-top box for DirecTV or the Dish Network? Freeview in the UK? Then you own a licensed H.264 decoder.

The geek is so obsessed with the web that he forgets that there are other markets, very big markets, very rich markets, for data compressed digital video.

The H.264 licensor or licensee is most likely to be a global giant in manufacturing and other ventures, a cartel like Mitsubishi, Philips, Samsung, Yamaha and Panasonic.

Which means that they are at the Enterprise Cap and licensing H.264 support for a new product line costs them nothing.

theoretically possible? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35260850)

Funny, I thought DRM was theoretically impossible. Something to do with Bob and Eve being the same person.

Re:theoretically possible? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260898)

It's theoretically possible to implement DRM with WebM. It's not theoretically possible to implement effective DRM, however.

Re:theoretically possible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261038)

The problem isn't with WebM, it's with HTML5.

Re:theoretically possible? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261008)

Optimistic; but not quite true. Eve is Eve. Bob is Eve's computer.

It is impossible to build fully effective DRM. With enough skill, money, and equipment, Eve could go in and rework at the IC level, or even do a complete teardown and build a replica-but-without-the-DRM equivalent. If there aren't serious implementation mistakes to work with, though, "enough skill, money, and equipment" is an enormous amount... In practice, it is really only the legacy of the pre-cheap-cryptography general purpose computer, and its massive install base, that keeps us thinking of Bob and Eve as the same person...

Will people crunch video so small nobody cares? (1)

ciabs (1972918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260864)

PEOPLE WILL

PEOPLE DO
ain't that from the 70's?

Re:Will people crunch video so small nobody cares? (1)

ciabs (1972918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260880)

Maybe we're back to gopher and telnet?

Re:Will people crunch video so small nobody cares? (1)

ciabs (1972918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260940)

or wildcat, ra, iniquity, sf, tribes, lakota, bla ~woof bla

Re:Will people crunch video so small nobody cares? (1)

ciabs (1972918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260954)

!seen demonic?

Re:Will people crunch video so small nobody cares? (1)

ciabs (1972918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260974)

attacks != oop's I have root; jackass. Fuck your use of the base word "attack"

XOR of Copyright Notice = Effective DRM (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260866)

DRM can be effectively and easily implemented by XORing a Copyright Notice on top of the data. it's as good a measure as any, costs virtually nothing in terms of performance, does not interfere with distribution mechanisms (IP Multicast for example), can be "claimed" to be "encryption" under the DMCA, and makes it bluntly, bluntly clear that anyone dumb enough to remove it and spread the resultant file around the internet is DEFINITELY violating Copyright.

even as a free software developer (apart from the stupidity of the DMCA itself, which destroyed opportunities for me to make money from some of my skills and abilities), i see no reason why such a simple broadcastable scheme should not be more widely deployed.

USA != world (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260956)

Actual working DRM serves to somewhat slow down release groups operating in countries that lack a counterpart to the U.S. DMCA.

Re:XOR of Copyright Notice = Effective DRM (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261058)

DRM can be effectively and easily implemented by XORing a Copyright Notice on top of the data. it's as good a measure as any, costs virtually nothing in terms of performance, does not interfere with distribution mechanisms (IP Multicast for example), can be "claimed" to be "encryption" under the DMCA...

Not likely. Technical measures must be effective in order to qualify.

...and makes it bluntly, bluntly clear that anyone dumb enough to remove it and spread the resultant file around the internet is DEFINITELY violating Copyright.

A simple copyright notice does that. The intent of DRM is to prevent copying, not to warn against it.

Re:XOR of Copyright Notice = Effective DRM (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261150)

DRM can be effectively and easily implemented by XORing a Copyright Notice on top of the data. it's as good a measure as any, costs virtually nothing in terms of performance, does not interfere with distribution mechanisms (IP Multicast for example), can be "claimed" to be "encryption" under the DMCA, and makes it bluntly, bluntly clear that anyone dumb enough to remove it and spread the resultant file around the internet is DEFINITELY violating Copyright.

That's not quite DRM yet. A player would obviously remove the XORing for playing, and if I make an illegal copy from your computer to mine, then my player would remove the XORing exactly the same as yours. There would actually be nothing that prevents access to the encrypted data.

What would be DRM: The user has to type a "User ID" and a password into the media player. The media player downloads the media, xors with copyright notice, user id, and password. It also writes copyright notice, user id, and password, in clear text to the encrypted media. Playback xors with copyright notice and the user id and password of that media player. So if I copy the media illegally from your computer, my player decodes with the wrong user id and password, which gives you copy protection. It is still very easily circumvented, because the user id and password that work are contained in the media as clear test.

DRM in the streaming age keeps honest users honest (2, Insightful)

drtsystems (775462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261320)

I hate DRM on purchased music/video downloads. But for streaming services it is absolutely necessary, and not to keep dedicated pirates from stealing content. For streaming services such as netflix it keeps honest users honest. Netflix allows 5 devices per account and you can only stream when you are paying the subscription fee. If there was no DRM, then there would be easily available programs that would let you download movies to your computer to be watched after canceling. And remove the 5 devices per account limit.

Honest users would do this, but with DRM they would not. It is in some ways similar to anti-shoplifing measures at retail stores. Sure a professional shoplifter can avoid this, but it provides enough security to keep the honest shoppers honest.

DRM is Necessary (1, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260872)

Flash will continue to persist on a large scale until such a time that HTML video is standardized and has acceptable DRM written into the standard. Until that happens, publishers simply aren't going to stop using Flash. Mozilla is shooting themselves in the foot, and Google will be doing so as well if they make the same decision.

DRM isn't evil, people. Publishers WANT you to be able to view their content, or they wouldn't be putting it online. They wouldn't implement some DRM scheme that would ruin your ability to watch it, or why even publish it? They are NOT, however, going to publish it without some sort of control mechanism. If Mozilla and Google don't realize this soon, then all the effort they've been putting into the HTML video standard is for nothing.

Re:DRM is Necessary (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260914)

Let me clarify my stance before I'm modded into the ground -1 Fascist. I hate DRM. I hate it when it's on things that I purchase and download for my own use. But I do recognize that it has become an evil that will never leave us, and so I always try to reward those who come up with creative ways to implement it such that it does not impede my ability to use what I legally own, and perhaps even adds functionality (Valve's Steam comes to mind). However, for videos that are only present online and I only plan on watching online, why would DRM be such a terrible thing? I'm not supposed to download those videos anyway, so their being protected by DRM doesn't matter.

Re:DRM is Necessary (3, Insightful)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260998)

What about DRM on things you don't purchase but stream, like Netflix and Hulu? Since you don't own it, you shouldn't be able to download it, and DRM is necessary to protect those companies interest. Again, with content you OWN, DRM = evil because it limits rights. But with streaming content, it gives just enough rights so that in theory, prices should be cheaper (Apple TV rental being cheaper than purchase, despite it being the same bits sent to you).

Re:DRM is Necessary (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261090)

What about DRM on things you don't purchase but stream, like Netflix and Hulu? Since you don't own it, you shouldn't be able to download it, and DRM is necessary to protect those companies interest. Again, with content you OWN, DRM = evil because it limits rights. But with streaming content, it gives just enough rights so that in theory, prices should be cheaper (Apple TV rental being cheaper than purchase, despite it being the same bits sent to you).

That's pretty much exactly what I said.

Re:DRM is Necessary (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261360)

DRM only on streaming would be practically pointless if the same product is for sale without DRM. Why would you trust people to not share their purchased content with a million of their closest friends as prohibited by copyright law, yet not trust them to follow the streaming agreement?

There doesn't have to be a download button in the streaming application, but if you're willing to use a network/memory/display sniffer/download tool to get it in violation of your subscription agreement you're probably also willing to torrent the copy that someone will inevitably share.

It sort of sounds reasonable until you realize that for DRM to work the entire stack under it must be trusted. You can't have a trusted DRM app if the kernel will just snoop it. You can't have a trusted DRM app if you can just dump the frame buffer.

Microsoft claimed the GPL was viral, well DRM is extremely viral. Anything touched by DRM'd content must be closed source and "robust" against attacks. All copies of DRM-managed content must be under DRM, sold or streamed. Accepting DRM is death for Linux, X, open source drivers and open source applications.

Re:DRM is Necessary (2)

R-66Y (150658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261018)

In many cases, CTOs for production companies understand and agree on the futility of DRM. Contracts with the actors and the production crew, however, are what require that the distribution be controlled in some manner. Specifically, things like royalties for distribution become difficult to calculate when there is no DRM involved.

The technical folks in the industry -- even the ones who make the decisions -- don't particularly want DRM but are often contractually bound to deliver it. Perhaps years down the line, a better model for cast/crew compensation will present itself and these agreements will slowly start to reform themselves.

Re:DRM is Necessary (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260942)

There is no way to have standardized DRM... The whole idea of DRM relies entirely on security through obscurity, and if you publish a standard then that obscurity is gone.
Even with an obscured scheme, if it's worth it to anyone (ie there aren't easier ways to get the same content) then someone will reverse engineer the format and work out how to extract the data from it in a usable way. This will _ALWAYS_ be possible, because the player itself has to get the data into a usable format itself in order to display it.

All DRM does is inconvenience legitimate users, pirates will just download media that is not drm encumbered and have a better user experience.

Re:DRM is Necessary (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261176)

All DRM does is inconvenience legitimate users, pirates will just download media that is not drm encumbered and have a better user experience.

As long as DRM is effective enough to keep the "pirates" in the minority it will be worthwhile. If it serves to keep the average teenager from making copies for her friends it's working. The purpose of the DMCA anti-circumvention provision is to prevent the commercial distribution of circumvention technology. While the publishers would rather you weren't able to get at their stuff for free, they can live with it (despite their hysterical claims to the contrary).

Mod parent up! (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261188)

DRM is ONLY a factor for your LEGITIMATE customers.

And, eventually, that DRM will be out-dated and your LEGITIMATE customers will no longer have access to material that they LEGITIMATELY paid for.

I have CD's that I purchased 20+ years ago that still work.

How many of you can play content from a DRM limited product from 10 years ago?

Re:Mod parent up! (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261246)

How many of you can play content from a DRM limited product from 10 years ago?

DVDs from ten years ago still work, even in the latest and greatest BluRay players.

Re:DRM is Necessary (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261318)

Well if we fully implemented a treacherous computing stack then you should be able to have a standard (hell, even open source) DRM schema that would be resistant to most attacks. Sure holes would be found and such, but it would still be reasonably effective.

Re:DRM is Necessary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261364)

Yet the media companies can't get that through their thick skulls. The pirates always win. That's a fact. There has never ever been an uncrackable system. If they want to break your DRM they will break your DRM, usually in record time.
Focus on making your game good and you will get more money.

Re:DRM is Necessary (5, Informative)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260946)

1) Blu-Ray players will soon shut off people from using component video to play 1080p content, downscaling to 540p. I'd call that "ruining your ability to watch it".
2) Many DRM schemes backfire and give users a lot of trouble (see StarForce for a good example).
3) YouTube videos can be quite easily scraped off the site and downloaded, so Flash doesn't implement a whole lot of DRM either.

There's no need to push HTML video adoption. With the craze over the iStuff and Jobs' anti-Adobe stand, it will naturally become popular with video content producers on the basis of being able to tap into the iPad, iPhone and iPod market.

Furthermore, Mozilla's already said it many times. They're not in it to get the biggest marketshare ever, they're there to push the open web and open source movements. They want standards, they want open content. Their existence single-handedly overturned IE's once seemingly invulnerable dominance, hence they've already somewhat accomplished their mission. I regard Mozilla as a watchdog that tries to keep the web in line with the open source community's values. They produce a browser because it is the best way to achieve their goals, but I don't see them turning their backs on any of their core values on the grounds of gaining marketshare.

Re:DRM is Necessary (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260982)

They produce a browser because it is the best way to achieve their goals, but I don't see them turning their backs on any of their core values on the grounds of gaining marketshare.

I'm not talking about gaining marketshare. I'm talking about encouraging adoption of the technologies they have worked so hard to design. There will be no adoption if there's no way to control the content. Plain and simple.

DRM doesn't work (1, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260978)

i keep having to point this out to people, time and time again: broadcasting and DRM are mutually exclusively incompatible. Free Software people recognise this, and anyone who fails to recognise it is just plain dumb. or is being paid to pretend to be dumb. let's do a simple maths demo. go get your calculator, and hit the following buttons: type in 1, then hit "-". then type 1000, then hit 1/x, then hit equals. then hit "power (x/y)" and then 1000 again. press equals, and you should have 0.36769 or thereabouts. now do the same, substituting 10,000, then 100,000, then 1,000,000 and keep doing that until you reach the limit of the digits of your calculator.

the number displayed on your screen is 1/e (2.7818281828) which should mean something to you.

now do this: instead of 0.999999 to the power of 1000000, try even something like 0.9999998 to the power of 1000000. you should notice something VERY quickly: it's almost zero. now try 0.9999991 to the power of 1000000 - you should notice something even more startling: it's almost 1.

this demonstrates something very very simple: that it doesn't MATTER how complex the DRM is (0.0000001 or 0.00000001 probability of one person breaking it) - sheer weight of numbers of people around the world WILL break it, period. that really is the end of the matter. the sooner that people recognise and accept this, the sooner we can get on with something more constructive to do with our time, such as watching the next episode of Stargate on the device of OUR choice.

Re:DRM is Necessary (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261042)

How does Flash benefit DRM and it's proponents? I mean - I'm not even a videophile, or an audiophile, but I routinely browse the web, save Flash media to disk, convert it to another format, then upload it, burn it to CD, or email to to freinds. No big deal. It's just a simple matter of knowing where to find a few libraries. So - I ask again: How does DRM benefit from Flash?

Re:DRM is Necessary (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261068)

DRM is, in fact, evil(even if you don't think that its objectives are.)

DRM is, inevitably, simply cannot be done any other way, a class of methods and mechanisms whereby my computer is placed under a 3rd party's partial control in order to make it obey their interests, rather than mine. Even if I happen to agree with the particular rule being thus enforced(which is hardly assured, most DRM users go beyond the rights copyright law allows), it is the change in the ultimate controller of the system that is the inevitable and unacceptable consequence...

The fact that any system sufficiently robust to allow for effective DRM also allows for effective censorship is just icing on the cake...

Re:DRM is Necessary (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261152)

>>>Publishers WANT you to be able to view their content

Why the hell was he marked troll? This moderation really needs to be removed as an option. Leave the Offtopic or Overrated options, but remove the "troll" which is equivalent to calling someone a "retard" or "spic" or "nigger". (Yes I said those words - call the FBI and arrest me. I don't give a frak.) Insults should not be a part of Slashdot moderation.

BTW Roflkoptr you're flat wrong.
DRM has interfered with users for *decades* now.
Games: Can't make backups because the copy protection won't let you. Or worse: It damages the drive. Music/movies - ditto. Sometimes you can even hear weird noises in your songs, or flashing lines in your VHS/DVD videos.

DRMROLL, Please... (1, Funny)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260890)

// ok, not that funny, but what can I say? I'm a karma-whore-wannabee.

Hmm... (1, Insightful)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260894)

So Mozilla wants everyone to switch to WebM, but also thinks that a company like Hulu would be happy if people were able to download it's content by looking at the source code and seeing ??? Really? Come on now. There's standing up for a "free" internet and then also making sure that people can't easily steal web video content with a simple click. NO business in their right mind would agree to something like that.

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261192)

>>>NO business in their right mind would agree

I've read plenty of stories about artists and businesses that DO give away their content for free. i.e. Not copy-protected. They discovered that doing so earned them MORE money, not less, in the form of more sales.

This is kinda similar to how lowering taxes can actually create More government revenue in the long term. It's counter-intuitive but study-after-study has shown that giving stuff away creates awareness, and that awareness creates sales.

Re:Hmm... (1)

drtsystems (775462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261332)

It would take a very specific kind of business model to do this. Sure some companies may succeed, but overall I think it is very naive to expect all businesses change their model giving away their content for free.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261274)

There's standing up for a "free" internet and then also making sure that people can't easily steal web video content with a simple click. NO business in their right mind would agree to something like that.

Several businesses in related fields already do, and do fine. All my paid for ebooks are from http://www.webscription.net/ [webscription.net] which does not employ any kind of DRM. I've bought a ton of games from http://www.gog.com/ [gog.com] which are all without any DRM (I've also bought some games with online activation, but no Steam because even the one free game I have from them insists on half-updating itself from time to time and then refusing to run until it can finish its online verification process).

While it's certainly possible that DRM-free business models are not applicable to every kind of company or market, I think it's quite wrong to categorically posit that no DRM means that that a company by definition is not going to be viable merely because its content can be more easily copied.

More importantly: does it matter? (3, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260902)

I spent a long time opposed to DRM because of the lock in effect. Except that reality has pretty much rendered DRM as obsolete.

DRM does not and has not protected video game publishers.

DRM does not and has not prevented every significant song, movie, or other work from being easily, readily, and widely available on torrents.

DRM does not and has not generally resulted in an improved customer experience.

In a very real sense, it is frequently easier to use the pirate version of a game than the normal one. I love the GTA series on PC, and every single game I ever purchased I almost immediately installed the No-CD cracks. Yes, that's right. I bought all the games of GTA I ever played, and I cracked all of them just so I didn't have to dicker with the stupid DRM.

So, other than annoy the end users, what purpose does DRM serve?

DRM protects established publishers from indies (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260996)

DRM does not and has not protected video game publishers.

Yes it does. The digital restrictions management on video game consoles protects established video game publishers from competition from smaller indie developers. Console makers have a history of not granting licenses to micro-ISVs, and "homebrew" software relies on fragile jailbreaks that the console maker can and does fix with an update to the console's firmware.

Re:DRM protects established publishers from indies (1)

drtsystems (775462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261348)

And it stops pirates. The fact of the matter is that DRM on consoles does work. Sure there are jailbreak procedures available but they are made obsolete with every (required by the way) firmware update. And you run the risk of getting banned from online play (essentially bricking your console in this online gaming age).

HDCP? Fail. Blue-ray (AACS?) fail. Sure DRM sucks most places. But it really has succeeded at its intent on consoles, whether I'd like to admit it or not.

Re:More importantly: does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261010)

So, other than annoy the end users, what purpose does DRM serve?

None, but why make it easier for them to annoy end users?

DRM is a lock on a door (1)

weston (16146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261078)

Door locks don't keep burglars or determined attackers out, either. So, what purpose do they serve?

They make it hard to *casually* invade a room or building. They make it so there's at least a small hassle involved.

I think it's more or less true that carrots probably work better than sticks -- it's probably better to combat piracy with affordable prices, convenient availability, and a feelgood sense of legitimacy. But I can kindof understand why some content purveyors would also want to do something to stop casual piracy. And as long as DRM is optional -- as long as every codec that allows DRM also allows un-DRM'd content -- I don't see a problem with letting people see how offering restricted content works out for them.

Re:DRM is a lock on a door (1)

drtsystems (775462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261370)

Absolutely, I said this earlier in response to someone else. But basically what DRM has succeeded at doing is keeping casual users from being able to pirate games (on consoles at least), copy blue-rays, etc.

A perfect example of DRM being a necessary evil is streaming (i.e. netflix). If you could easily download every movie in their library without DRM and play it forever you can't legitimately expect users to abide by their 5 devices per account limit and to stop watching the movies after canceling their account.

Re:More importantly: does it matter? (1)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261186)

Well put. As Richard Stahlman says, DRM == Digital Restrictions Management, NOT Digital Rights Management. When you purchase a personal item like a book, game, movie, music, etc, you naturally expect to be able to use it as, when, and where you wish, and to resell it if you want. DRM only RESTRICTS your choice, so in effect you have not purchased the item, but merely rented it. If one were to apply rigorously the Right of First Sale to these items, DRM would itself be illegal, in my non-lawyerly opinion.

Ummm? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260908)

For DRM to work(to the degree that it ever does) it has to be implemented in something that the user cannot successfully modify to be less user hostile.

Hardware, because it is comparatively difficult and expensive to modify, generally poses the greatest obstacles to the user.

Closed source software, if sufficiently crafty, can be comparatively difficult(but much cheaper, so it usually falls faster).

OSS, by design, is modifiable, so it would last mere minutes. Is it nice that Mozilla won't do DRM? Sure. Would Mozilla committing to DRM stop Iceweasel from being released in a 100% compatible except when it comes to shafting the user build about 20 minutes later? No.

That is what I don't understand about this "question". Obviously, it would be architecturally trivial to add a 'dontcopythatfloppy' option to the HTML5 Video tag. However, nothing short of the wholesale annihilation of the general-purpose computer and its replacement by a dystopian mass of tivoized appliances and TPM-backed "secure remote attestation" mechanisms would make it remotely relevant. Barring such an outcome, "DRM" would essentially be a polite request to the browser that it please hide the "download" button.

Re:Ummm? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261014)

However, nothing short of the wholesale annihilation of the general-purpose computer and its replacement by a dystopian mass of tivoized appliances and TPM-backed "secure remote attestation" mechanisms

In the case of video games, this dystopian mass has been growing since the 1985 introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Re:Ummm? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261080)

Yup. Never mind Our Cellular Overlords...

Re:Ummm? (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261098)

Go ahead, hide the download button. I have VLC plugin, and I'll just tell VLC to pipe everything it plays to files on the hard drive. No problemo. Whoops, sorry - you already knew that, but the DRM dummies didn't. I should learn to keep my mouth shut, huh?

Re:Ummm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261118)

And lo, the GPL version 3 was born.

If BBC iPayer can shed Flash it will be awesome (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35260918)

Right now the BBC serves H.264 streams via flash and it has pretty lousy performance (Flash) or pretty awesome performance (via the same stream in XBMC). If they want to shed Flash entirely and still serve a large proportion of the web then a limited amount of content protection is almost inevitable because the content producers (ie, not the BBC but the people who own some of the shows they broadcast) demand it.

Sure, ideally there would be no content protection at all (it really doesn't affect the free distribution of the content at all) but right now that is just not a reality.

I would love BBC iPlayer to be able to serve H.264 with HTML5 (it already does to iPhone user agent strings) since it would free me from the flash performance hog that makes HD streams stutter even on a powerful desktop machine. It won't happen if a sizeable portion of the browser market won't support it.

I'm only talking about iPlayer here, but it applies to many video services across the web - trying to force the DRM hand too early will just perpetuate Flash.

DRM gives more options to users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35260958)

Without DRM support, they can only play non-DRMed content. With it, they can play both DRM and non-DRM content.

To most people, that's a win, and it's one of the problems limiting Linux adoption right now. People WANT to play their netflix streams an blu-ray disks. Linux can't do that, but systems with DRM support can.

So it'd be foolish of anyone to promise they won't support DRM. If the next browser over supports it, then yours loses market share as people move to a platform that meets their needs.

Re:DRM gives more options to users (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261158)

You're more than a year late with your post, AC. Blu-ray support on Linux: http://themediaviking.com/software/bluray-linux/ [themediaviking.com] It's been a game for years - the proprietary publishers refuse to release source for Linux, chowderheads like yourself run around babbling about all the things that Linux can't do, but the community proceeds to enable all the things you claim that Linux can't do within a few months. Oh yeah - when is Linux going to support USB? I remember people saying that Linux may NEVER have support for USB - but today, I can plug just about anything in, and it "just works". Blu-Ray? I don't own one, but obviously a lot of Linux folks do. And they don't rely on some trashy Blu-Ray player to view them, either.

Who fucking cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261134)

Given the whole "living standard" shite re: HTML5, we're already fucked anyways.

Also, wtf is this tripe regarding "having to wait before posting short flames?" :-\

Mozilla committed to not implement DRM in Fidonet (1)

ciabs (1972918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261160)

Anyone catch that?

Mozilla committed to not implement DRM in Fidonet

I'm building a site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261190)

I'm building a website where I hope people can either post videos or where at least they can embed open videos. DRM doesn't help anyone. It is important to have a free and open internet. A shopping mall is a closed space, where business people can have their mall cops do whatever. The internet is like a public park. Short of being drunk and disorderly, people are allowed to do what they like. Its a public space. DRM reaks of private space; it builds fences and borders, not an open public space. Its in the nature of microsoft to monetize everything they see. HTML is in the public space. Keep it DRM free.

DRM on HTML5 video is impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261204)

HTML5 is a W3C standard. A standard can't be anything but open. A DRM scheme can't be anything but closed.

How is it going to be implemented? (1)

Zelgadiss (213127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261224)

If web video is going to get DRM, the "client" will have to be implemented by a trusted party.

Google can play the role, but I don't think Mozilla can.
So if DRM is going to be implement it will need support from the OS - where the OS plays gatekeeper, and browsers relying on it for decoding.**

I don't see a problem to be honest with DRM for web video, it would be up to the content creators whether they want their video protected by DRM.
Those who don't want DRM can just post without it.

**Ya, I know, problem for Linux. Some day they will probably move it into hardware like on the video card itself.

google asks microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35261268)

like ... What is D.R.M. ?

Microsoft wants them to commit to backstab them (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35261330)

Once Google states no DRM in WebM, Microsoft will win the battle and get hollywood on their side by offering DRM in whatever they cook up. That's the only reason they're asking this question. Without DRM there is no Netflix in HTLM 5 and for that matter any number of video options that may exist because the xxIA's require it.

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