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W3C Declares DRM In-Scope For HTML

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the treacherous-computing dept.

DRM 290

FredAndrews writes "The W3C has ruled DRM in-scope for their HTML standard. A lot of big businesses have supported advancing the Encrypted Media Extension, including Google, Microsoft, and Netfix. The BBC calls for a solution with legal sanctions. The EME could well be used to implement a DRM HTML engine. A DRM-enabled web would break a long tradition of the web browser being the User's Agent, and would restrict user choice and control over their security and privacy. There are other applications that can serve the purpose of viewing DRM video content, and I appeal to people to not taint the web standards with DRM but to please use other applications when necessary." Looks like the web is becoming more like Xanadu, but not in a good way.

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Reality vs idealism (4, Interesting)

Agelmar (205181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870231)

It's so tempting to just sit in the corner and say "DRM is evil, we don't want to taint the web with it" but unfortunately, as is often the case in the real world, we don't get to make decisions in isolation of their consequences. DRM on the web is already a reality, largely using Flash or Silverlight (see e.g. Hulu, Netflix). However, both of these platforms face problems -- Silverlight in particular seems to have a rather uncertain future, Flash availability on tablets and mobile in general is largely non-existant. The poster asks us to "please use other applications when necessary" - is this really a good answer? That is going to lead to even less interoperability, and I would argue it hurts the web at a time when it's already fighting a serious battle against native apps that generally offer developers better control (of UI, no random GC pauses, actual threading models, etc). It's easy to say "DRM will harm the web", it's a bit harder to foresee what the eventualities of telling people "please go away and use native apps" are.

I expect this is likely not going to be a popular response, but in short please realize that this is not as simple as saying "DRM is bad". Yes, DRM sucks but I'd argue that in the long run, having a hobbled web platform losing out to native apps (see e.g. iOS) is going to suck more.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870241)

HTML is a bunch of terrible hacks all piled on top of each other.

Hopefully this kills HTML off and encourages everyone to migrate to decent user interface technologies.

Re:Reality vs idealism (3, Funny)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870255)

Are you talking about iOS apps?

Re:Reality vs idealism (2)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870295)

Let me know when you've managed to convince the major OS developers to use a portable container, common SDK and common glucode scripting language.

Re:Reality vs idealism (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870381)

What exactly would you consider a better technology?

Pure HTML is nothing more than an SGML derivative, like XML, and for the use of formatting, is not bad.
CSS, as a way of taking some of the ambiguity and potential for different interpretations on formatting, is also not bad.
JavaScript... OK, yeah, this language could be better. It has a lot of nifty features that can do more harm than good, and is missing one or two nice features (like good type identification, rather than prototype checking, which can have quirks in different browsers).

Everything else is a non-standard and/or proprietary add-on.

Can you think of a better alternative out there that fulfills all the same needs? About the only thing I can think of doing to improve it is replace JavaScript with python (mostly to fix the missing features), Java or C# - and then tweak CSS and HTML a bit to add a few extra features.

By the way, the needs of HTML, as far as I can observe:
To present data on a wide variety of systems, where presenting the data accurately is more important than minor (and even major) variances in formatting, as may be called for by the platform presenting the document(s).

Re:Reality vs idealism (3, Insightful)

Agelmar (205181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870459)

The reality of DRM is that, absent having a TPM that enforces some sort of software integrity that reasonably ensures that the player is sending the video to a trusted display (TPM validating OS validating player software validating HDCP connection), you're going to be stuck with some security-by-obscurity closed source components, or "plugins". It's unfortunate but I can't honestly see a way around that without much larger changes (like trusted computing, but in a slightly less evil implementation hopefully). The "better alternative" to native apps then becomes allowing DRM to be done in the browser in the least intrusive manner possible -- that is, use as much of the browser's code as possible and have the plugin footprint be as small as possible. Today Flash and Silverlight are used not just for DRM but for the entire player application, ideally the player application could be mostly in HTML and using the browser's stack as much as possible, calling out to the DRM module only for either decryption or saying "Please composite this decrypted stream into that div".

Re:Reality vs idealism (3, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870825)

But if the browser is allowed to be open, then you've defeated the DRM.

the way I see this playing out is no movies or newspapers on Firefox or chromium. Google stands to save how much money with this? I imagine a large percentage of the people will go to chrome.

if the DRM is supposed to be any more effective than the no right click style JavaScript, its going to destroy the open source browser eco system. If It's simply meant to prevent the most casual of copying (this is actually what I think is a valid use of DRM, as realistically content is gonna get out anyway), then your plugin idea works, but good idea selling that.

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870457)

You sir, are simply ridiculous.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871009)

Back to Gopher!

Re:Reality vs idealism (2, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870273)

However, media via Flash or Silverlight is also broken. It doesn't work everywhere and those media executives are just too stupid to figure out a safe system that will work everywhere. They need to find some smart people that know how to make things work and stop push old ideas of trying to control the software in people's computers. It is possible to do.

Re:Reality vs idealism (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870305)

DRM has its place, but we also have to be careful about when and how we use it. For example: I would argue that DRM is valuable for ebook lending (e.g. through libraries). However, it doesn't have a place when the goods are sold (e.g. violates the doctrine of first sale).

In the context of the Internet, we must also be careful. One of the advantages of the current structure is openness. That openness allows adaptability to different circumstances. DRM opposes that because anyone who has the keys can reopen the Internet, so those keys will be carefully guarded. This would result in vendors be marginalized, from the application to the system software level. Not only does this limit options for the market as a whole, it limits options for specialized products (e.g. accessible web browsers, utilities for people who don't have access to broadband due to location/affordability).

Re:Reality vs idealism (4, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870755)

If we're going to go down the path of the internet being used solely for the purpose of a marketplace, I suspect I will continue my pattern of diminishing usage of it as the years go by. I was there right at the beginning when it was ARPANET and MILNET (and yes, I am even older than that). I understand that DRM has legitimate purposes, but so far, what I have mostly seen is its use to lock in consumers and restrict or deny (I'm looking at Amazon here) legitimate use.

If I am put in a position where in order to purchase certain content, I have to accept DRM encoding, the very first thing I do before I use the file is strip the DRM out. I call this future-proofing, on the grounds that some content providers (Amazon again) have been known to "take back" content, and on the grounds that a digital file should be subject to the same restrictions as a physical book, CD, DVD or whatever.

But I digress: in the earlier years of the internet, I used to spend a (probably too-)large proportion of my life online. Nowadays, having moved away from urban centres and needing to devote more time to getting a life (growing vegies, raising chooks etc) - and with an enforced bandwidth and traffic limit, I find it easier to keep a more distant perspective. So I no longer spend so many hours trawling the net for things hitherto unknown, and actually spend a few more hours at night in bed with my wife.

Re:Reality vs idealism (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871159)

I understand that DRM has legitimate purposes,

No it doesn't.

What it does is annoy the paying customer and serve as no impediment to the pirate.

Re:Reality vs idealism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870781)

DRM is a broken concept. If it is possible to read or display the data anywhere, then it is possible to make a copy of that data.

No DRM schema will ever work, even if you make custom hardware to enforce it. How has custom hardware helped out the XBox? just solder a mod-chip on the motherboard and now you can run unsigned code. as soon as someone else has physical access to the hardware you can't stop them from altering it.

It only requires a single person to break your DRM for DRM free versions of your data to leak out. and many times DRM free versions are available before the official version is even released, meaning insiders were involved, so they can't even secure their own facilities.

In the end DRM is only punishing the honest customers and degrading their experience, it isn't even slowing down the "pirates".

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870321)

Indeed. If some idealists are bothered by the "user agent" being controlled by the big media, let's just start calling browsers "media company agent" and be done with it.

Re:Reality vs idealism (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870325)

DRM won't harm the web, it will divide it. See Facebook.

iOS is just a trend, a fading one, otherwise it's percentages wouldn't shift that easy.

Re:Reality vs idealism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870327)

No. HTML, Hyper Text Markup Language, is a standard for describing documents. It is NOT the place to implement or enforce Digitally Restricted Media(DRM). Other applications already exist for this purpose and new application will also follow that can all be integrated into your HTML document if you insist on using it. But it belongs in an external application, not HTML.

Re:Reality vs idealism (4, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870477)

I couldn't agree more. HTML is for marking up the content we want to serve on a webpage. It should not be a means to enforce corporate digital rights, particularly when we have seen other instances where enforcing those rights meant "deny by default". Implementing something like this will require even more monitoring of every web browser. I am already tracked enough by dozens of websites who do so without my permission, then sell the results to corporations.

Re: Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870779)

Good luck forming an alternative standards board not controlled by corporations, and then getting the corporations to follow your spec...

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870487)

External closed source applications running only on Windows? No, that wouldn't work, unless the idea is the "co-death" of DRM with the PC. HTML could be used to describe encrypted sections, but otherwise limited use sections could be a problem for open source implementations. A working cross platform DRM "solution" can't rely on the security or unmodified nature of the platform running it.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

Transfinite (1684592) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871065)

Whilst I agree with the sentiment of not polluting HTML with DRM, we all know that it will be broken withing days anyway. I do not agree that HTML is 'now' only just a standard for describing documents. I't gone way beyond markup, as demonstrated by HTML5. There 's much to be said each way on this.

HTMLMediaElement is ALREADY part of HTML (5, Informative)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871143)

The proposal is to extend HTMLMediaElement (which is an ALREADY existing part of HTML) so it supports DRM in a standard way.
HTMLMediaElement is a specific DOM element that correspond to media elements (audio, video) and extends the standard element with media specific features: play, pause, length, volume, etc ...

The proposal is to recognize that DRMs are an widespread feature used in conjunction with media elements. As such, it is worth standardizing.

If the DOM accepts having play/pause features on a media element, it could also support DRM methods on a specialization of this element.

As you said, the implementation and enforcement of DRM is EXTERNAL to the DOM/HTML. Have you read the proposal ? I guess you didn't because the ONLY thing this proposal adds is a bunch of events and methods to allow javascript to provide the key to decrypt an encrypted flow.

Re:Reality vs idealism (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870349)

Anything that breaks the cross-platform nature of the web is a breakage of the web. We've got enough shit that does that now.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870419)

How are DRM and cross-platform mutually exclusive?

Re:Reality vs idealism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870529)

Because cross-platform implies open standards so that everyone is able to implement it on his platform. OTOH, DRM implies a secret component, so that only licensees can implement it. So DRM will only be available on platforms which are popular enough that the implementation pays off the licensing cost (assuming he is even able to get a license). And it will be completely unavailable on open source platforms because it is incompatible with open source.

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870539)

Ask Adobe and Microsoft.
Silverlight and Flash and Shockwave.

Re:Reality vs idealism (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870543)

Because how would they not be?

DRM requires that there is some secret that you do not share with me. This means the implementor would have to port it to every OS and architecture since no one else could.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870693)

It doesn't have to be, but it usually is. I use Linux as my regular desktop OS, and there are PLENTY of things off limits because of bad DRM design or designers that don't care about Linux.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870353)

The eventualities of telling people "please go away and use native apps" are people saying "fuck you" and not using your site or service at all. I enjoy my iPad, but when a web service/site tries to funnel me into having to use an app to access on a device what I should be able to access with a browser.

And, even if everyone did go along with it, so what? The solution isn't to say "well, garsh, whatever corporations want, that's what we'll decide to include!".

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870657)

but when a web service/site tries to funnel me into having to use an app to access on a device what I should be able to access with a browser

...you do what, exactly?

Re:Reality vs idealism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870371)

DRM being bad is a not a "idealism". It's not some persons *opinion*. It's not like arguing about whether Inception was a good movie (it was).

DRM is faulty *by design*. This is a mathematical truth. And you either accept that truth, or you live in denial. This isn't a "weelllll, it's really annoying for business". Ok, so what? Gravity is really annoying for the American Airlines. Those are the breaks.

The hardware, at the most bottom layer (assembly), has the instruction: mov eax, ebx. This instruction copies data freely. All digital hardware has an equivalent function. You cannot do anything with computers without this basic function.

When you hold a computer, you are physically holding this magical copy instruction. This copy instruction does not know about copyright, or rights holders, or fair use, or DRM, or business models. It simply duplicates a digital value. No computer could exist without it.

So, how do you propose to remove this function, without destroying the computer in the process? It's, ultimately, impossible. You can make things very difficult -- that's fine! Because all you need is one bored determined hacker to break it (which must always be possible, as long as computers exist), and "unlock" the media. Then it will be traded freely.

The only way to stop it is to destroy the computer. Destroy the `mov ax, bx` instruction, that freely copies digital data. But the computer provides so much *other* value, that you can't do that either.

So you just have to live with it. And the sooner you realize that, and realize that this isn't about "idealism", but instead about a mathematical truth that people are living in denial about, the sooner you stop propagating this delusion that DRM is some sort of "solution". It's snake oil. Get over it. I know it sucks. It sucks for me too -- I make music. It sucks. Adapt, or die.

Re:Reality vs idealism (2)

TractorBarry (788340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870673)

And let's not foget one important thing.

Any series of bytes, of any arbitary length, can be viewed as representing a number. In the case of a file containing (say) 100,000 bytes that's a large number but the point holds that the byte sequence can stil be viewed as a number.

And what's more ridiculous than trying to prevent people sharing a number ?

If that number, represented as a sequence of bytes, can be interpreted by some music playing software to produce sound well... that's just magic :)

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

Transfinite (1684592) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871145)

:) Even if you try to stop them you can't. Would have thought we would have learnt from the past, for example what Gödel Numbers did to the ivory towers of Principia Mathematica? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principia_Mathematica [wikipedia.org]

Re:Reality vs idealism (5, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870387)

Open standards and DRM are fundamentally incompatible. If you know how to decode something to display it to the user you also know how to decode it and save the results of that decoding to a file. Therefore any standard that includes drm will either be trivially broken (see conventional pdf "usage restrictions") or not truely open.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1, Insightful)

allo (1728082) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870445)

no, it can be another way. just think of a trusted media path (using trusted computing and a TPM). Then the TPM chip can negotiate a shared secret between your monitor and the site serving the video. then the whole software can be opensource, just as it can with SSL, and it will always see only the encrypted data. In this way, trusted computing is good for opensource, because there is no need for security by closed source (obscurity) anymore.
The only problem ... every company can use this to sell a minimum only, like pay-per-view business models instead of pay-per-download models. But the problem here is the business model, not the tech.

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870533)

hahaha hahaha hahaha, seriously?

a trusted media path...the problem here is...not the tech

"trusted media path" does not exist, would still be riddled with flawed implementations, and would require junking all existing hardware first

Re:Reality vs idealism (3, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870555)

That only moves the point in the pipeline where you need to insert code to do the ripping. No matter what scheme is thought up, the end result will always be breakable, simply because you need to output unencrypted content to the end user. You don't even need to break the encryption or do anything at all, all that is needed is to intercept the unencrypted signal before it is presented to the end user. This has been shown time and time again.

Re:Reality vs idealism (2)

devent (1627873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870935)

That will all be changed by brain implants [infowars.com] . Now we can ensure the trusted path: Internet, local Computer, HDMI connection, Monitor, Eyeballs. The monitor will output an encoded picture that the eyes will register and the brain implant will decode it to your occipital lobe [wikipedia.org] Later it will erase any memory of the video if the producer set the broadcast flag [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870573)

If you move the software into hardware that does not make it opensource. Trusted computing cannot be opensource, it must hide data in the TPM.

Re:Reality vs idealism (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870707)

are you suggesting we move movie decode to monitors? and then what about the open source browser being tweaked to save the stream to disk and replaying it... and to combat that the monitor would also need to have network - the whole thing would end up being running in the monitor. might just as well buy a tv with a binary only inaccessible properiaty content browser in which case there is nothing open about your content flow. DRM inherently depends on black boxes - sw or hw - and that is incompatible with open systems, be them hw or drm.

the tech is definitely a problem - it's in direct odds with anything open source being in the flow. you can already do crappy drm plugins(silverlight) for your browsers and stream via them(like netflix) so I fail to see what would be the point of trying to put this shit into the general open source portions of the browser.

remember the point isn't about controlling access to the media but controlling what the browser does with that media. and that needs total control over the browser - which means you wouldn't be able to compile your own.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870847)

So I can just make my own TPM chips based on the standard right?

Re:Reality vs idealism (5, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870813)

No it is possible: with legislation. That is why the BBC is calling for legal sanctions.
This will result in invading your privacy at home just like any DRM:

However, the BBC is unlikely to be able to use any such mechanism unless we feel that it is sufficiently secure that there would be the possibility of legal action in the event of bypassing it.

Television is generally a more expensive medium than music to produce due to the amount of labour involved, and therefore for consumers to purchase. Business models that enable content to be available to them on a temporary (or rental) basis are usually able to do so at significantly lower cost than would be the case for permanent copies.

That is definite not true on the Internet. "Television" on the Internet is cheaper then permanent copies. Once the infrastructure is in place, you just pay for the bandwidth.

An example of this effect in action can be seen with the BBC’s iPlayer – by limiting the window of availability, the BBC is able to make content available for no additional fee to UK licence fee payers.

Yes because the current copyright model is broken. If the copyright terms were not astronomical high, the producers wouldn't be so greedy and would not impose artificial limitations by hiking up prices for unlimited availability. That is the only reason public entities like the BBC needs to artificial limit availability. There are no real cost in making a video available once or unlimited on the iPlayer.

We require the ability to securely identify a type of device, and enable or disable video playback based upon the answer.

Goodbye free operating system and free browsers. I can see a future where Mozilla needs to negotiate a license with the BBC (or any other producer) to be able to play their videos.

The ability to pass further restrictions to the graphics rendering path if available.

Goodbye your privacy, goodbye open source. Now every component needs to be verified that it is "trusted".

Instead, the high-quality video content that the broadcast industry produces will be made available only to closed devices and application stores where such security can be implemented.

It's just the same anyway. Either you close up the Web with DRM or you use closed solutions like Flash or Silverlight. What is the advantage for the Web again? There is no way under those conditions from the BBC that an open source browser like Firefox or open source system like Linux can operate.

Re:Reality vs idealism (4, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870873)

PS: Of course Richard Stallman was again all correct about cloud services: Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman [guardian.co.uk]

Now the DRM from the cloud services will be standardize. That will give legislators only more excuses to push such laws as the DMCA, SIPA or SOPA. "The proposed law will only make compliance with the W3C Media Source Extensions more easier. You do want your Youtube videos, no?"

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870401)

"Idealism"? Of course "DRM will harm the web", and it is a lot more than merely easy to say.

Proprieters are able to create and manage systems to deliver their restricted content, and to do so through the infrastructure that exists to support the web. There is no reason to incorporate DRM into the web and no benefit whatsoever for either the administration of the web or web users. In fact, incorporating support for DRM is an explicit contract to support the security of DRM, and an acceptance in law of liability for the failure to protect proprietary content.

Re:Reality vs idealism (4, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870405)

Because you will get royally fucked over. That is why DRM sucks. You will now hand your over identity in order to be able to browse sites, etc. Google, Facebook, etc will now know who you are. Anonymity will be gone forever. Your browser will report on you all the time. Do you know what are web bugs? Do you think the equivalent DRM'ed version will not be there? Except now, because of DRM, it will know exactly who you are.

And don't even think of using different browsers, etc. Because of DRM, you will establish an identity through each of them, or you won't get to use DRM encumbered crap.

Seriously, this is really fucked up.

Re:Reality vs idealism (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870431)

Also, why do I have to give up my privacy just so that you can get off on your hate of iOS? IF someone wants to give up their privacy and use a native app, that's their bloody business.

Why do I have to use a DRM encumbered web? It won't be just movies or songs or ebooks, it will be used for other things. If someone can put a tracker shit in flash, you think they won't do it with DRM?

Reality vs idealism: in reality, DRM doesn't work (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870435)

It's so tempting to just sit in the corner and say "DRM is evil, we don't want to taint the web with it" but unfortunately, as is often the case in the real world, we don't get to make decisions in isolation of their consequences.

It's not about the evilness of DRM, it's about the fact that it's useless. Has there been a DRM in history that has not been cracked? Why spend energy on a useless endeavour?

The people pushing for this may believe it's worthwhile and useful (or rather the content licensees do), but I think most people on Slashdot are clueful enough to know better.

So besides placating the studio executives, are there any valid (ideally technical) reasons why DRM should be pursued?

Re:Reality vs idealism: in reality, DRM doesn't wo (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870757)

So besides placating the studio executives, are there any valid (ideally technical) reasons why DRM should be pursued?

getting licensing on browsers so browser (trio, whatever, doesn't matter)monopoly can be created.
then they can create browsers without adblockers, cache flushing, cookie flushing etc..

it's both a technical and ideological explanation. not a pretty one.

Re:Reality vs idealism (2)

MeNeXT (200840) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870439)

DRM is bad especially when it is not disclosed. As an example, I though like you, back in the old DVD days and did not think that CSS was such an issue. The problem was that the DVD not only were encumbered by CSS they also had bad sectors or tracks which created problems for computers. Now the reality was that it also created problems with DVD players which implemented CSS but were a little too old. One day day I bought a Disney DVD and sat down with my kids to watch the movie. It started and would constantly error out. Now thinking that the DVD player was broken I rushed out and bought a new one. The funny thing was that the old one would play all the existing DVDs just fine. Then the second player did the same thing with transformers. I may be slow but I know that's when I realized that there is nothing wrong with the players. What I had to do is scrap the player every 2 years or so in order for the DVDs to work.

DRM prevents the law abiding person to get screwed it does not stop a pirate especially Disney, MPAA, RIAA and such. Where I live you cannot return media when the package is open even when the contents are defective. The laws may not say as much but getting your $20 back will cost more.

Re:Reality vs idealism (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870605)

The trouble is that the properties that make a DRM system actually useful(ie. some degree of robustness, enough information about their environment to 'rights manage' in some granular way, and so on) require fairly extraordinary powers over the client system.

The 'Encrypted Media Extension' itself doesn't; because it defines almost nothing(one 'baseline' encryption mechanism that is little more than a toy obfuscation system, along with standardization of some interfaces for asking the non-joke DRM module questions); but it is designed to plug into DRM systems that do, which is the only reason that it has any support at all.

Consider, for example, the BBC's little request list [w3.org] :

Unless it is 'sufficiently secure that there would be the possibility of legal action in the event of bypassing it.', no go.

Unless it 'securely identifies a type of device', no go(browser UA is explicitly noted as not being good enough)

Unless it allows 'identification of the context in which the content appears', no go.

And 'The ability to pass further restrictions to the graphics rendering path if available'.

A set of requirements like that is both a fairly stock summary of what a DRM system should be capable of to be worthy of the name and a set of demands that certainly aren't going to be met in any non-tivoized OSS implementation, and wouldn't even be particularly easy to meet on something that isn't a closed box.

Essentially, once the pointless little baseline case is immediately ignored by anybody who would ever actually use the system(since, if you don't want DRM, you won't want the hassle, and if you do, the baseline is far to pitiful to be worth anything), EME is a 'standard' for 'how to use javascript to talk to an entire black-box video rendering mechanism, upon which there will be enough demands that it will almost certainly be platform specific'. Pretty much exactly the same situation as having the video player stuck in a blob of Silverlight or Flash, except that (because this is HTML5, man) the wicked 'browser plugin' has been renamed a 'content decryption module'(which, as the spec notes, 'CDM implementations may return decrypted frames or render them directly, and 'CDM may use or defer to platform capabilities'). In all but name, it's the definition of a few javascript APIs for interacting with a black-box video path more or less identical(if not worse, given the more robust support for invoking the hardware-protected 'platform capabilities' now present on a lot of consumer gear, which something like Flash was always too dubiously competent to do in any serious way) to the plugin-based video player arrangements of the past.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870649)

DRM IS Evil. You seem to think that everyone should be able to put anything on the internet without any concern for what happens to it. The internet, at its core, is about the free transfer of information. It's like someone started up a food fair where you could come out and try all these free home cooked meals, learn new recipes, and trade ideas. Then Pizza hut put up a booth. "Hey! All these people tried our pizza and then went out and made it themselves! How dare they!!!"

If you don't want your content downloaded, don't put it on the web. The solution is simple. If you don't want to take part in the new way information works, you don't have to. But to bend this new medium to fit your decades old, outdated business model doesn't just hurt the internet, it hurts your business. There is a lot of money to be made if they just embraced the new system. But they need to be innovative, creative and open to ideas. There are a lot of what were once poor people, getting rich off of the huge vacuum left by big business on the net. They wine and complain that the piratebay founders are making all this money off of people downloading their movies... THINK ABOUT IT! The media industry is driving itself into the ground, and the path to success is clear and laid out before them.

Re:Reality vs idealism (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870759)

My problem is that the W3C has already bit off more than they can chew, so wasting resources implementing DRM is quite extravagant when we still don't have HTML5.

Re:Reality vs idealism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870809)

Couple thoughts:

1. It's not like someone won't figure out how to break the DRM. DRM gives the content provider assurance that most of you won't steal it, not all of you.
2. How many of you complaining about this have any up to date understanding of the open web platform?
3. Everything the new specs are trying to do is mitigate the need for browser plugins - so that means that there is no other option available for DRM protection. Server side applications can't address DRM needs for a situation where the content is intended to be made available offline - a client side method needs to be made available.

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870815)

Yes, DRM sucks but I'd argue that in the long run, having a hobbled web platform losing out to native apps (see e.g. iOS) is going to suck more.

So basically you are saying that we have to accept chains. Either in the form of DRM or in the form of walled gardens. How about we actually defend what we *have*, being an open web with open standards?

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. So be fucking vigilant rather than apathetic.

Re:Reality vs idealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42871039)

I'd argue that your wrong and that if the bastards want to have control over content in that way a walled garden is exactly where it should be conducted. Exerting that level of control in the commons it just bad. I wouldn't call a platform without DRM 'hobbled', quite the reverse.

The reality of flash or silverlight being the reality of the existance of DRM already is lightly amusing and if Silverlights future is uncertain, the future of flash is not.

Re:Reality vs idealism (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871187)

Digital media has brought on new problems.
Creating quality content is still expensive. Mass distribution is easy.
So we have good old economics 101 of Supply and Demand. With Digital Media Supply reaches a level so high that Demand has barely any effect, and the price per unit is 0. So 0 times any number is still 0, which is less money then it makes to create the content.

Pre Digital media we could control this. Books required to be printed, Music on records or tapes. If you were to mass Pirate books or Music without serious loss of quality you would need an expensive operation. Sure we had tapes of songs from the radio or copies of the tapes, however the quality to copy a copy degrades with the analog copy. Not so with digital, every copy is exactly the same as the previous. Meaning we can cheaply make copies ourselves and mass distribute them over and over.

DRM is a way to limit the supply of digital media, so its price won't fall below where they can make profit. Yes I bet some of you Anti-Capitalist say Profit is bad and Greedy and evil and all that stuff... But plainly put, without profit it is near impossible to have the resources to continue on providing your goods.

RMS is right, Data wants to be free. However making the data isn't free, and the army of volunteers doesn't always work for every project.

Make those with the money pay (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870271)

It seems like it should be incumbent upon those that want to restrict your freedoms to bear the full burden of that cost. That is, we do not help them develop a standard for this, and force them to do all the work necessary for their restrictions to try to propagate in the browser ecosystem via plugins, extensions, custom applications, etc.

I would never go so far as to restrict *their* ability to do so, but we should never EVER encourage such behaviour in open standards.

The standards committees should be spending their time (and money) developing technologies that would help people, rather than hinder them.

BBC not calling for legal sanctions (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870285)

The BBC is not calling for legal sanctions to be in the standard or anything silly like that. They are merely saying that any DRM standard for online video must be executed in such a way that existing copyright infringement laws apply to it. In other words there should be a "copyright" field in the metadata, so there is no doubt about it.

Re:BBC not calling for legal sanctions (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870355)

In other words there should be a "copyright" field in the metadata, so there is no doubt about it.

Ah .. so they finally want to implement the (almost) ten year old RFC 3514 [ietf.org] IPv4 header!

Re:BBC not calling for legal sanctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870871)

I am sure you know that rfc is a april fools joke. Maybe the moderators don't.

BBC is calling for legal sanctions (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870395)

"However, the BBC is unlikely to be able to use any such mechanism unless we feel that it is sufficiently secure that there would be the possibility of legal action in the event of bypassing it."

Not sure why you would defend the BBC, but that is pretty much the definition of a sanction. In fact it states quite clearly that the BBC is less interested in about how good the DRM is [they expect it to be broken], but whether anti-circumvention provisions is protected by law e.g. DMCA. It is just focused on stopping the people forced to pay for service in the UK having unrestricted access to the content they paid for.

Re:BBC is calling for legal sanctions (3, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870511)

"However, the BBC is unlikely to be able to use any such mechanism unless we feel that it is sufficiently secure that there would be the possibility of legal action in the event of bypassing it."

Not sure why you would defend the BBC, but that is pretty much the definition of a sanction. In fact it states quite clearly that the BBC is less interested in about how good the DRM is [they expect it to be broken], but whether anti-circumvention provisions is protected by law e.g. DMCA. It is just focused on stopping the people forced to pay for service in the UK having unrestricted access to the content they paid for.

The BBC has a rather bonkers idea about DRM anyway. For example, HD Freesat receivers are required to implemtn DRM on their output (i.e. HDCP on the HD output, no analogue HD output, etc.), even though the DVB-S signal they are receiving is transmitted in the clear anyway. All it does is inconvenience legitimate consumers - anyone planning on copyright infringement is going to find it more trivial to record the raw DVB-S stream rather than an HDMI stream anyway.

Similarly, iPlayer's DRM is so weak as to be completely useless, and yet they still use it and therefore insist on using the terrible Flash player instead of making the video streams available in a standard format that would work on all platforms. (The flash player is so bad that I invariably just use get_iplayer and then play it with mplayer).

Re:BBC is calling for legal sanctions (2)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870713)

"However, the BBC is unlikely to be able to use any such mechanism unless we feel that it is sufficiently secure that there would be the possibility of legal action in the event of bypassing it."

Not sure why you would defend the BBC, but that is pretty much the definition of a sanction. In fact it states quite clearly that the BBC is less interested in about how good the DRM is [they expect it to be broken], but whether anti-circumvention provisions is protected by law e.g. DMCA. It is just focused on stopping the people forced to pay for service in the UK having unrestricted access to the content they paid for.

The BBC has a rather bonkers idea about DRM anyway. For example, HD Freesat receivers are required to implemtn DRM on their output (i.e. HDCP on the HD output, no analogue HD output, etc.), even though the DVB-S signal they are receiving is transmitted in the clear anyway. All it does is inconvenience legitimate consumers - anyone planning on copyright infringement is going to find it more trivial to record the raw DVB-S stream rather than an HDMI stream anyway.

Similarly, iPlayer's DRM is so weak as to be completely useless, and yet they still use it and therefore insist on using the terrible Flash player instead of making the video streams available in a standard format that would work on all platforms. (The flash player is so bad that I invariably just use get_iplayer and then play it with mplayer).

BTW, get_iplayer does not bypass DRM since the BBC do not use any.

http://linuxcentre.net/getiplayer [linuxcentre.net]

From the link above:

"get_iplayer, does the recording, indexing and searching of the iPlayer TV/Radio programmes and podcasts available. It can even stream the iPlayer TV programmes while recording them to mplayer, vlc or xine, etc. It does not circumvent any digital rights management security (see the BBC’s website on how to do that with the Windows-only DRM content they provide)."

Re:BBC is calling for legal sanctions (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870819)

BTW, get_iplayer does not bypass DRM since the BBC do not use any.

http://linuxcentre.net/getiplayer [linuxcentre.net]

From the link above:

"get_iplayer, does the recording, indexing and searching of the iPlayer TV/Radio programmes and podcasts available. It can even stream the iPlayer TV programmes while recording them to mplayer, vlc or xine, etc. It does not circumvent any digital rights management security (see the BBC’s website on how to do that with the Windows-only DRM content they provide)."

Not entirely true. iPlayer uses SWF verification. It's a pretty worthless DRM mechanism, but its there.

Netfix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870287)

Oh man, I soooo need my Netfix right now, it hurts so bad!

Closing of the Range (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870297)

The web these days is like the Western frontier, around 1880, when business interests from back East figured out how to settle down and begin controlling it with the intent of monetizing it, not like monetizing it. Barbed wire went up to stop cattle drives, national parks were established, and everyone fell under someone's thumb again. We're at the point now where the freedom that defined the web is being closed off and we're going to be forced into big, but well-defined areas. It sucks, but it is what it is.

Re:Closing of the Range (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870347)

In sixty years, will people make greatly exagerated movies about life in the Wild Web?

Re:Closing of the Range (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870737)

I'm looking forward to see these blockbusters:
"Once upon a time in the Web..."
"A fistfull of DMCA's"
"For a few ipv4's more"
"The great DRM robbery"
"The outlaw Kim Dotcom"
"The Schwarz, the DOJ and the MIT"
"How the web was won"

Re:Closing of the Range (1)

viking099 (70446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870789)

That would be awesome! It would be a whole new angle on the historic GIANT SPIDERS [youtube.com] that roamed the Wild, Wild West [imdb.com] !

Trust Us (4, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870301)

Well, so much for open-source W3C-compliant browsers.

Re:Trust Us (3, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870383)

Well, so much for open-source W3C-compliant browsers.

The linked BBC email says:

Previous discussions on the W3C mailing list have looked at if the CDM itself should be defined or mandated to be open-source. We do not believe this would be helpful, primarily because it is difficult to see how an open-source CDM would have any hope of staying secure for any length of time at all. However, we would evaluate any open-source solution that did come along fairly against our criteria, and hope that adoption of a standard like the Encrypted Media Proposal will increase the amount of vendors offering CDM modules from the number of plug-in vendors that exist today as there would be a lower cost of entry. This may enable an open-source solution that we have not yet conceived to come to market.

That suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of encryption.

On another point, the BBC mentions the revenue from selling DVD and audio recordings -- the profit from this is £182M [wikipedia.org] . That compares to £3606M [wikipedia.org] of income from license payers, at £145.50 each, thus about 25M licenses are sold. If every licence-payer paid an extra £7 we wouldn't need to protect that content. (Have I calculated that correctly?)

(Other broadcasters with different funding models might still want this system.)

Re:Trust Us (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870427)

That suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of encryption.

Yes, it suggests my fundamental misunderstanding of the obvious.

The point is to prevent the owner of the computer from accessing the data, so it probably is incompatible with Free Software.

http://www.w3.org/community/pua/wiki/Digital_Rights_Management#DRM_is_against_open_source_software [w3.org]

Tax (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870475)

On another point, the BBC mentions the revenue from selling DVD and audio recordings -- the profit from this is £182M [wikipedia.org] . That compares to £3606M [wikipedia.org] of income from license payers, at £145.50 each, thus about 25M licenses are sold. If every licence-payer paid an extra £7 we wouldn't need to protect that content. (Have I calculated that correctly?)

(Other broadcasters with different funding models might still want this system.)

More importantly those that *pay* for the content should simply get unrestricted access to it. The fact that the BBC make 5% profit on what is for all intended purposes a tax, simply shows how poor the content is. As for being taxed higher for the privileged something, how about they get paid a little less.

Re:Tax (1)

TractorBarry (788340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870723)

And those that don't want the content should not have to pay the ridiclous licence fee.

Re:Tax (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870849)

On another point, the BBC mentions the revenue from selling DVD and audio recordings -- the profit from this is £182M [wikipedia.org] . That compares to £3606M [wikipedia.org] of income from license payers, at £145.50 each, thus about 25M licenses are sold. If every licence-payer paid an extra £7 we wouldn't need to protect that content. (Have I calculated that correctly?)

(Other broadcasters with different funding models might still want this system.)

More importantly those that *pay* for the content should simply get unrestricted access to it. The fact that the BBC make 5% profit on what is for all intended purposes a tax, simply shows how poor the content is. As for being taxed higher for the privileged something, how about they get paid a little less.

Poor content? Compared to 90% of the bland shit that is produced by the other big commercial producers (Sky, HBO, ITV, etc) the BBC stuff is far better. It is also very different and be more likely to appeal to niche markets and be more experimental.

On top of that the news the BBC produces is what also makes it stand out. It might fuck up occasionally, but so does everyone. The important thing to my mind is that it is a news network not solely driven by the point of view of a single (exceedingly rich) proprietor.

Disgracefully Poor Content (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870899)

Poor content? Compared to 90% of the bland shit that is produced by the other big commercial producers (Sky, HBO, ITV, etc) the BBC stuff is far better

I would disagree. In fact if I was legally allowed the option. I would cancel my TV license and subscribe to netflix which is less than half the price :)

Re:Disgracefully Poor Content (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871131)

I would disagree. In fact if I was legally allowed the option. I would cancel my TV license and subscribe to netflix which is less than half the price :)

So do it then, that's perfectly legal. I own no TV (i.e. broadcast receiver), but watch plenty of non live stuff online and DVDs. It's 100% legal too.

Re:Trust Us (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870893)

If every licence-payer paid an extra £7 we wouldn't need to protect that content.

selling DVD and audio recordings

They already have no need to protect it. Audio is now DRM free by default and the DRM on DVDs is so bad that it may as well not exist: there are hundreds of free and commercial programs for ripping DVDs and it's easy to buy unrestricted players off the shelf.

Furthermore all the video and audio recordings worth anything at all are already on TPB, yet they still sell them.

So, if every license payer paid an extra £0, we wouldn't need to protect the content.

EME - That's a shit move (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870329)

Web Deli - "Serving fresh websites daily"
00:22 (0 minutes ago)

Attn: Philippe Le Hegaret
cc: Paul Cotton, Maciej Stachowiak, Sam Ruby

Dear Philippe et al,

Further to your discussion, [http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-admin/2013Feb/0122.html]

Adding DRM to the open web is a dick move.

When you are old you will look back and think... yeah we really fucked up when we did that.

But anyway - hindsight is usually clearer than foresight - personally I would think your respective talent could be put to better use.

What you do in the world matters, and doing what your doing is harmful - it's shaping a sub-optimal future.

Please reconsider the value of what you are doing and consider pursuing other projects.

Kind Regards,

Principal Web Developer
Julian Smith | Director

e: julian@webdeli.com.au
m: +61423797376

Web Deli - “Fresh websites served daily”
eCommerce | Online Marketing | Drupal | Email Solutions | PHP Development | iOS Development

Please send all mail to : 303/585 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC, AUSTRALIA 3000

Re:EME - That's a shit move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870339)

yeah yeah - 'your' should be 'you're' - but it's past midnight and I've been cutting code all day, I'm tired. JS.

HTML is fine, its all the crap on top of it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870331)

Flash, Java, Silverlight, take your pick.

As the world wide web has grown it has gotten more information and become LESS usable thanks to all of the crap loaded onto it.
Yes, I know I am falling into the old-school "Back in the day..." crowd here, but seriously- I have a 100mb internet connection now and compared to my old-school 14,400 modem back in the 90s average page load times are.... about the same.
The information I am able to find and use is also about the same.
The useless crap I have to sift through is now HUGE on the other hand, and it actually takes more time to find relevant information. I have to move past all the bad video posts, Twitter crap and asinine Facebook pages. And I haven't even mentioned the BS sites that do nothing but redirect seaarch terms to advert delivery pages.

Hell, I would rather go back to text-based internet browsing than be forced to "migrate to decent user interface technologies."
It's a web PAGE, pal. It should look and work like a PAGE.

Open Source Browsers (2)

acklenx (646834) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870359)

Implement as much of the spec as you want.

Re:Open Source Browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870463)

This depends on whether the DRM's even implementable- even if we WANTED to do so.

It's bullshit and you're full of it yourself.

Profit Machines (1)

AlabamaCajun (2710177) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870389)

HTML/Browser DRM is just another profit driver for big corporations. Just another tool to up their bottom line. It's nothing about the good of the people, protecting your machine from those that want to do wrong. If it were really about protecting any personal content then it would protect content I post on a private or public website. Look at how little control you have on Android and IOS already compared to 2000 when you had a freer internet on a pc. As for the major OSes playing together, won't happen. Each one wants dominance of the big marketing engine that use to be the internet.

Time for a new Internet. (3, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870403)

Because this will break it beyond repair.

The worst thing since ActiveX (2, Insightful)

GeekDork (194851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870423)

That's pretty much all.

The best that this idiocy can possibly produce is further fragmentation of "The Web": right now, we have "kinda sane" standards in HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1, as well as CSS 2.1; everything beyond that are half-baked hacks in the form of several implementations of HTML 5, CSS 3 modules, their DOM APIs, and whatever browser vendors decided to implement. Adding DRM to the fray will not help things, since no matter how you look at it, you will end up with content only available on specialty browsers like Chrome, IE, or fringe mobile platforms, all the while still blissfully carrying the "HTML" tag.

At the end of the day, it will be cheaper for content peddlers to just cut out the bullshit and keep doing things in Flash, and I can't even say that I'm sad about it anymore.

Oh, and the W3C? They can go die in a car crash FWIW, it wouldn't be a huge loss beyond the humanitarian impact. Not like they did anything useful in the past 10 years.

Binary (1)

jlebrech (810586) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870437)

Isn't it time for a binary web standard anyways, the creation of a universal bytecode for the web would enable programmers to have the power to either build with or without drm, but would also deliver much more power.

Re:Binary (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870611)

Either you want java or something like it or you are going to tie the web to some architecture. I think you can see the flaws with both those plans.

Re:Binary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870629)

this

I am sick and tired of people bolting junk onto html and acting like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Let's use a hacked together/never thought out programming language (javascript) that does all sorts of wacky stuff to drive everything (how many equal signs do I need again!?). Want javascript to change the layout? Oh lets just use strings to dom parse the the html (because that's not error prone). The page is stateless and we want dynamic content? Oh lets jquery/ajax the bejesus out of this thing (cause that's clean). And people wonder why there are so many attack vectors.

Why cant we have a properly designed, sandboxed, (hopefully) typed, and statefull client side language with explicite server interaction protocols?

Re:Binary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870635)

No.

Pay per view (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870443)

Is now on the web.

They should split off a commercial web from a free web via a TLD :)

Do I see a hole in the DRM? (3, Interesting)

MathFox (686808) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870547)

Nothing in the "Encrypted Media Extension" specs prevents or forbids proxying of both the key and the encrypted media stream to an external "decryption and caching" service. And all of the usual "how do we prevent the plaintext from leaking from the user's machine" questions are still in full force. It is unlikely that the W3C will get "effective protection".

DRM html?? (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870601)

Ummm, if the DRM is in the html code, then what is to stop somebody from having html code that circumvents the DRM? Here is a better idea. If you have content that you want to protect, then protect it on your end. Yes, it is less convenient for your users, but if they value your content they will still jump through your hoops. If they don't they will go elsewhere. Most likely the content owners realize that their content isn't all that valuable and if they try and restrict it on their end, people will indeed go elsewhere. However, that is how free markets are supposed to work.

Use online newspapers as an example. Many have paywalls and do quite well, with that model, however, those that do not want to pay, get their content elsewhere. It doesn't require DRM built into HTML to protect content.

get rid of the web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870643)

The 'web' has evolved into a monstrous amalgamation of ugly standards. It has one, and only one, compelling advantage - it is open. We put up with a lot of crap for that reason alone. It's the only way to build platform independent networked apps out there. But coding up an app in HTML/Javascript/CSS/Ajax that will run across all browsers sucks.

Out with the W3C and their crappy standards. We need a new open standard for developing rich network applications.

Nope. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870767)

If this happens, I'm starting my own internet. With blackjack and hookers.

What happened to the W3C? (3, Informative)

fritsd (924429) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870885)

Here, read this: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-admin/2013Feb/0137.html [w3.org] , this person puts it very clearly: WTF is the W3C doing trying to *hinder* an open accessible web? DRM is against what their purpose in life as an organisation is.

Did "the Director" die, or something??

Chicken Little (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870911)

All that the W3C rep said is that it is within the scope of the HTML WG to work on this API. The API describes how to interact with an optional module. Nothing in the standard says that a user agent must support this module. Blaming the HTML WG for DRMed content is a bit like blaming your television manufacturer for Fox News.

End of "View Source"? (1)

Bazman (4849) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870945)

Is that the idea? That the HTML behind web pages isn't viewable? That web pages can't be printed? Or can't be viewed after three days?

Just go use a PDF ffs.

So, it will be EXACTLY what we have now... (2)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871005)

The ads will load into your browser, but not the content you were trying to access. The Ads will play a video, but then the video you were trying to see will generate an error. While you're at work, an annoying sound will come from the ads, but you still won't be able to read the article you were hoping to read.

The web has already become useless. Every site is so loaded with crap ads, you can't even FIND the content you were googling for. So go ahead, add the DRM. It won't change anything. It won't work, it'll cost more money to implement, and you'll get less ad revenue as even more people give up as I have.

Long live the web, death to the web.

Focus on the specifics. "DRM Bad" is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42871081)

Lets focus on the specifics of EME. "DRM Bad" is a gross oversimplification.

I think we can all agree that HTTPS is a good idea - it lets us securely communicate with our bank etc.

What if our bank wants to send us a video message, or we want to watch one of our home videos we've stored on a cloud server? Well, we could use HTTPS for that. But HTTPS requires the server to encrypt the content as we're streaming it... that's probably OK for those scenarios, since there won't be more than one person downloading the same video at once.

Now suppose a video store offers to sell us a video. Of course we'd use HTTPS to send our credit card details to prevent them getting intercepted by hackers. The video store might let us download or stream the video over HTTPS. But HTTPS requires the server to encrypt the content as we're streaming it, and if lots of people are streaming the same video the server will be very busy. What's more, since the server has to send differently-encrypted data to different people, they can't use a CDN to spread the load (unless they load their private key into all the CDN boxes, which would be insecure). The solution is EME with the "Clear Key" encryption: the store encrypts the video file once, and tells us to stream the encrypted video file over plain HTTP from their CDN. They then send us the key over HTTPS. The browser uses that key to decrypt the file. Note that there's no "DRM" anti-consumer stuff here - the consumer's web browser has both the key and the encrypted data, and could save those if they wanted to. It's just protecting the data as it flows over the network, like HTTPS does.

Now, EME does also have hooks for a full DRM system. It doesn't specify a full DRM system - it's just hooks so your browser could include a DRM system if it wanted to. Rather than getting the clear key over HTTPS, the browser can get some encrypted data that's passed to the DRM system. The DRM system then does it's thing and decrypts the video, presumably applying copy protection as it does.

The sort of companies who are going to use EME to hook into DRM are the sort of people who are going to use DRM _anyway_. If you don't want to use their services, that's fine - you don't have to install the DRM systems. But if a DRM system is going to hook into my browser, I'd rather it had a small well-defined API instead of being some massive buggy plugin with it's own programming language like Silverlight or Flash. Encrypted video is the last remaining reason to use Silverlight or Flash. So this should lead to Silverlight and Flash dying, which is a very good thing.

So I think EME is a good thing for the web.

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