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Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the power-to-the-people dept.

DRM 351

jrepin writes "There's a new front in the battle against digital restrictions management (DRM)technologies. These technologies, which supposedly exist to enforce copyright, have never done anything to get creative people paid. Instead, by design or by accident, their real effect is to interfere with innovation, fair use, competition, interoperability, and our right to own things. That's why we were appalled to learn that there is a proposal currently before the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML5 Working Group to build DRM into the next generation of core Web standards. The proposal is called Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME. Its adoption would be a calamitous development, and must be stopped."

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Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about a year ago | (#43231391)

It's not going to knock DRM off the web.

So why not put in a way for it to be done in a standard fashion?

Putting the ability to serve DRM content into HTML is not going to close the web.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Insightful)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about a year ago | (#43231423)

A standardised DRM means everyone will use it.
If everyone uses a different standard it slows the spread of DRM and makes it more difficult for those who wish to use it.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (3, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | about a year ago | (#43231447)

Can't we just make an IE/Firefox/Opera/Chrome add-on and be done with adding the DRM? If people want it they can install it themselves.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (-1, Troll)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#43231481)

A standardised DRM means everyone will use it.

Which is a good thing because then it allows more VALUABLE art to produced. (and please, make sure you call it "art", and not "content")

It is why YouTube is filled with completely worthless junk and ads, and why you pay for movies/netflix/cable subscription instead.

Right now the web is filled with low value junk. That is because no one builds good art for free distribution online, since there is no way to distribute it in a standard way to people that only pay for it.

Don't worry the people that don't want to pay for higher art will still have their low-value YouTube & corporate ad-supported junk available, but the people that prefer to pay for exclusive non-corporate art will now have a standard way to get that.

The last thing we want is for people that don't pay to have access to high value art. That simply causes the high-value market to not exist, since artists hate giving away their work for free.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231509)

Go to fucking museum for art or art gallery, smart ass.

I am happy with my utube. Further more, once DRM is adopted, it will be used by everyone and their dog, which is just wrong. I can already see abuse. And I can see it already failing on EVERYTHING it fights.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (-1, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43231773)

If someone wants to use DRM on content THEY produced, why is that not their right?

Does your right as a non-paying "consumer" somehow trump their rights as a creator? Maybe code writers should also be forbidden from using any license other than BSD or GPL?

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Insightful)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231861)

Because DRM shall be cracked. Deal with it. So it will not stop the pirates. But it will annoy the consumers. I don't want to help corporations come up with better ways of infridging on my rights to backup, store or copy (for fair use ends) the information, that I legally obtained. I don't want crappy spyware being a standart and implemented in every browser. What I do want, though, is to be able to view/play/listen to the art that I legally obtained, give it to my children and not depend on some vendor, that I bought it from to not go out of business rendering my collection of art useless and nothing but a bunch of random bytes, as I would be unable to crack the DRM legally in US.
Wallmart music store buyers learned the lesson. Others will soon enough.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231641)

They should release free work, get a following, and then get their next project funded beforehand from this following. Donations also welcome from people who enjoy the result. Problem solved.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (4, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43231695)

The same thing could be said for the whole internet. Why put "art" on a separate plane? Everything that you can access on the internet has value. Books, news articles, scientific papers, software applications. Yet the internet has been developed to be open, and it was a success.

People who want closed communication channels can already build them, and the onus is on them to specifiy and maintain them outside the open web.

EME will not give "people that prefer to pay for exclusive non-corporate art a standard way to get that", because it doesn't specify a real encryption method. It's just a standard hook allowing portions of web pages to be decrypted by non-standard binary plugins. In fact, besides Google and Apple, it's being proposed by Adobe. They don't want us to get rid of flash, they want, respectively, one more reason to put "works only with Chrome" banners, a way to put the lockdown of flash into iPhones without having to implement the whole plugin, and a way to keep selling binary plugins without having the burden of having to maintain a presentation layer that with the advent of HTML5 has become less attractive.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#43231739)

The same thing could be said for the whole internet. Why put "art" on a separate plane? Everything that you can access on the internet has value. Books, news articles, scientific papers, software applications. Yet the internet has been developed to be open, and it was a success.

Works are being put on separate planes (flash, silverlight, etc.). This is to allow that access to happen in a way that's accessible to more devices and browsers. It will cost the user a lot more if we have to write separate apps for each device.

And EME is the first step. The next step would be to figure out encryption standards (which may include hardware requirements as well).

The free-market will decide if it's worth it or not.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43231847)

Encryption standards are being specifically excluded by the EME proposers because they're not in their interest. It's not a first step, it's a final one. Read for yourself W3C's plublic html mailing list archives to hear directly from the protagonists who wants to do what.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231831)

So "the last thing" we want is to let poor people have access to culture and education?? Even if it does not cost anyone a penny to just give it away since they were not going buy it anyways? Yes, lock them in cages and set up overseers with whips to make the lazy bastards work! And we can only pay them to enough to make the ends meet.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

davidshenba (2536122) | about a year ago | (#43231971)

I know you are an apple user

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (2)

FredAndrews (2736433) | about a year ago | (#43231975)

DRM actually restricts what people can do, so it hardly encourages creativity. You might argue it helps support a revenue model to reward creativity but this is a separate matter. If people can not exercise fair use rights then this limit creativity. If people are restricted in how they use the content in their own privacy then entire ecosystems are eliminated that produce innovative ways to better use content in your own privacy.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231981)

Such a bunch of nonsense.

Once you're thinking in terms of DRM it's just content. It's only about whether the "stuff" "sells" or not. This has nothing to do with "art" -- be it Beatles, Picasso or Britney Spears. Just Content.

Art is something different.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43231487)

A standardised DRM means everyone will use it.

In no way do I support the idea of DRM in the HTML5 standard.

But... There is an upside to having everyone standardize on one form of DRM -- once it is cracked it is cracked for everything

I don't think that comes anywhere near balancing out the societal costs of ubiquitous DRM, but it ain't completely bad.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43231583)

It would seem to exclude open source software from essential web standards though, which is clearly bad. You can't implement a secure rendering path in open source software, can't hide secure decryption keys in it (even commercial BluRay players find that hard).

It's bad enough that we have to deal with Flash.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231605)

Yep, and surprise surprise, it's a Microsoft-sponsored extension.

Looks like they've finished embracing open we standards. Time to move on to the next phase.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (4, Informative)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43231725)

There is no standardization of DRM going on. What is being standardized is just a plugin scheme, like the one allowing Flash to be embedded inside web browsers. Once hackers crack, say, Google's "SecurChrome browser", sites will be able switch to Adobe's "Bolt plugin" or Apple's "iLockedDown platform", or just require customers to upgrade to "SecurChrome 2.1 SP3" which will be using a new encryption method or will implement a new kind of surveillance.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231757)

And it would be cracked immediately, as open source browsers are too large a part of the ecosystem for this to fly, once you've got open sourced browsers supporting the DRM, there's even less than usual that you can do to stop it from being cracked. You've got the key and you've got the algorithms to use the key. The only thing you might not have is the content, and well, if you don't have the content the other two pieces are pointless.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43231563)

A standardised DRM means everyone will use it.
If everyone uses a different standard it slows the spread of DRM and makes it more difficult for those who wish to use it.

No, it doesn't. We already have proof of it. In the form of flash video with DRM, and silverlight video, with DRM. Both were extremely popular, and everyone had Flash and Silverlight installed so they could watch their DRM'd videos.

Now, is this a better outcome than having it as a standardized system? Consider all the flash vulnerabilities and silverlight vulnerabilities - everyone had to have them installed after all.

And no, your opinion on DRM is not going to matter - if people provide useful content DRM'd like this, people will just install whatever.

And frankly - what really keeps someone from taking Firefox and modifying the EME handler to instead of playing it in a video box, dumping the unencrypted content to a hard drive? Putting them in the HTML spec means the browser handles it, and honestly, I trust the browser vendors more than Flash or Silverlight. At least the browser gives you control.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231891)

And frankly - what really keeps someone from taking Firefox and modifying the EME handler to instead of playing it in a video box, dumping the unencrypted content to a hard drive?

Exactly. If you (as a creator of content) do not control the entire pipeline your battle is lost before it starts. There is no way to ensure that your content is only played once and that it cannot be saved. As soon as you start outputting unencrypted content to a device the battle is over. Someone will find a way to capture this and be done with it.
DRM-in-HTML is really a way for major content providers to be able to point to this implementation and yell "due diligence" when they sue people's pants of.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43231769)

Everyone who wants to use DRM in vids already does, using flash. Its not "do we have DRM or not", its "will it be standard, or will there be 50 implementations?"

It also ignores the naievity of thinking "if we dont create a standard way to do something that people want to do, maybe theyll stop wanting to do it." You cant put the cat back in the bag simply by pretending the cat doesnt exist...

Standardized DRM doesn't mean everyone will use it (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about a year ago | (#43231833)

Administering DRM is a hassle for the provider as well as the user. Companies aren't going to throw on DRM just for the heck of it.

Other content simply won't be provided on the web without DRM. It'll either come through your browser, a browser extension or a separate app. Adding DRM to the standard will give the best possible situation for this too.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231865)

It would be better than not being able to watch Netflix on Linux at all (and no, that wine Netflix hack can't playback Netflix with acceptable framerate).

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231465)

The problem is that the standard DOESN'T do it in a standard fashion. It only opens a standardized CONNECTION to DRM implementations.

This will lead to fragmented / incompatible implementations that only work on SOME devices that have the right magical DRM enforcement hardware.
This is not what standards are meant to do.

DRM is NOT necessary to be successful and doesn't stop the pirates. It just hurts innovation and gives certain parties a veto over new technology.

First they fought against Betamax. Then they fought against CDs. Then they put in crapy region and fast forward features into DVDs. Now they are fighting against the web.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231499)

The problem is that the standard DOESN'T do it in a standard fashion. It only opens a standardized CONNECTION to DRM implementations.

Wait, so it's an open standard allowing any pluggable DRM implementation, and people are claiming to be against it in the name of open standards?

Honestly, do you know what preventing DRM in HTML5 is going to do? It's going to keep the existing PC DRM solutions (Flash and Silverlight) alive and competing with HTML5 for a long time. Put proper DRM in HTML5 and both of those technologies are effectively done (and good riddance!)

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#43231539)

Which is a good thing, because it will mean less DRM due to compatibility issues. Any argument for easier to build DRM is an argument for more DRM.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231657)

DRM is DRM... there is no "easier" or "more" DRM

silverlight and flash are shit

html standards are not shit

if we must put up with DRM (and we do regardless of what happens) then i would rather have it built into a standard that aren't proprietary

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231729)

No, it absolutely won't. DRM is everywhere now. Not only totally ubiquitous for Netflix and other streaming providers, but used by every cable and satellite provider as well (yes, those are DRM, too). As long as there is enough of a market for any particular DRM to make money, it will survive. And come on - this is software - as long as it's installable on PC and MacOS "compatibility" is irrelevant and it will continue to exist.

And speaking of that - if you don't agree look up CFF. It's going to be the standard downloadable video file format used by almost every movie studio within the year. It was designed to support any DRM, and currently supports 5 different ones with the same file. So there goes your argument...

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231883)

DRM does not make money. It creates an illusion of "protection". We should be done with this scam and force content providers to invest into the quality instead of DRM.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231939)

Of course DRM makes money for the DRM provider. Never said it made money for the content provider.

And forcing content providers to be DRM-free is going to be about as effective as forcing gasoline providers to lower their prices by boycotting a gas station one day a week. Actually, even less effective since the vast majority of consumers just really don't even want to boycott video streaming solutions using DRM. They really just don't CARE as long as they can watch a metric crapload of TV and old movies for ~$9 a month, or new movies for ~$4 PPV (which compared to $10+ per ticket in the theater is practically nothing).

Finally, DRM is not a service differentiator, so it has little to no effect on technology investment. Quality is a differentiator, which is why all of the major streaming providers are now offering 1080p. And that's basically limited only by ISP bandwidth; if that wasn't the bottleneck everything could already be 7.1 audio and BD quality video...

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

andrew3 (2250992) | about a year ago | (#43231629)

It's going to keep the existing PC DRM solutions (Flash and Silverlight) alive and competing with HTML5 for a long time.

People are still using them? I stopped a few years ago and I haven't run into many problems.

Hmm... maybe this is why Microsoft is shipping Flash by default in Windows 8.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231709)

Come on, I KNOW you are smarter than to use the "I don't use it, so no one else does" argument. Yes, almost 30 million Netflix subscribers in the US alone are using Silverlight/MS PlayReady to stream video. And many many millions more using various forms of Flash/AIR etc to do the same.

For every one of you there are thousands of people who just don't care, and just want to stream a movie, and are happy to pay a monthly fee for it rather than pirate it. Those numbers just aren't going to change anyone's minds...

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231895)

I am happy to pay a monthly fee. Of a one-time fee. Or anything inbetween, as long as it's fair. Current prices on Steam are a good example of maximizing the profits by playing with the price. What I don't want - is to pay for a handycapped version of a movie. That I can't fast-forward, play the way I see fit or watch on my trip to Russia without all this DVD region bull.
Well, I can't get this in stores. Some stuff I can't get anywhere but the pirates.
Sorry guys, but pirates provide a better service for free. You provide a shoddy service at best and demand a lot of cash, that you later put into prosecuting your customers.
The choice is quite simple.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (5, Interesting)

andrew3 (2250992) | about a year ago | (#43231609)

Suppose a user sends me a threatening message on some site online. With DRM I can't save it. Suppose I want to save a video so I can play it later (maybe I need to play it offline for my assignment work). Again, if it's DRM'd I can't do that. I don't want my computer to work against me, and I don't think that should be a "standard".

Perhaps the better question is why should DRM be a standard? Why should computers disobey their owners for the sake of corporate greed? Why do media companies pretend that the world will end if DRM isn't added to HTML5?

It might also help to read what media companies have proposed for HTML5 DRM [w3.org] . The BBC wants to be able to take legal action against anyone that bypasses the DRM (even if the user isn't infringing copyright itself).

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231719)

you might own your computer, but you don't own whatever content is secured by DRM

if you want to be able to do whatever you want with DRM protected content (such as your threatening message) you must ask the owner of that content for permission (that's kida the whole idea of DRM)

if you don't like DRM content, don't use it... nobody is holding a gun to your head

if you get a threatening message on some online site, stop using that site or reply in kind. what benefit are you really going to get by being able to save a threatening message off the interweb? why would you even want to unless you get off by being threatened? keep it to show the police? pffft... gimme a break.

computers don't disobey their owners. they do exactly as they are designed to do. the real problem is the expectations of their owners.
a computer is not a free ticket to whatever you want off the internet.

most computer users put up with DRM every day.... binary executables are a form of DRM because even though the binary code is also copyrighted, the source code (the real valuable copyrighted material) is obfuscated.
i know the open source movement allows the use of code for free, but that is the choice of the developers.
how would you feel if you spent your time developing a program and your users simply demanded the source code because they think any kind of digital rights management sucks ass?

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

andrew3 (2250992) | about a year ago | (#43231909)

but you don't own whatever content is secured by DRM

I don't want ownership of any content. I just want to control my computer.

if you don't like DRM content, don't use it... nobody is holding a gun to your head

Sure, I don't. And I don't think anyone else should use it either. DRM is anti-social and an oppressive use of computers.

i know the open source movement allows the use of code for free, but that is the choice of the developers.

Maybe it is, but I don't think it should be that way. And I don't think the W3C should help those types of developers either.

how would you feel if you spent your time developing a program and your users simply demanded the source code because they think any kind of digital rights management sucks ass?

I wouldn't create a program and not release the binary without the source code. If I was the user, I wouldn't make "demands" either. I would just recommend that other users avoid the program.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (2)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231943)

You, sir, are so misguided I don't know where to start.
Computer is not "a free ticket to whatever you want off the internet", this is where you are right. The only place where you are right.

Computer is a machine. In my possession, the one that I bought for my purposes. And I want to be in control of it. Because it is a machine, a tool that I use to achieve certain goals. Computer is a tool to work with information, this is the only thing it's good at. I don't want anybody telling me what I can and can't do with it or crippling it's functionality. DRM is crippling my computer to prevent me from exercising my rights as a consumer to backup a copy in case of a computer malfunction or watch on any other device that I own. It is designed to make me pay several times for the same thing.

Binary code is not DRM in any of it's form. It doesn't prevent me from copying it, disassemble it or running it after the company, that produced the binary is bankrupt and erased from history.

And yes, I dislike DRM, I don't use it, and as hell don't want it as a standart in a browser. If corporations want to cripple my browser and PC and make it work for their ends, not mine - they can struggle with it themselves, frustrating users more. Community has no stakes in it and should not waste it's resources trying to sugar-coat the poisonous pill that they are trying to make us swallow.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231963)

you might own your computer, but you don't own whatever content is secured by DRM

DRM prevents otherwise lawful fair use exceptions.

if you want to be able to do whatever you want with DRM protected content (such as your threatening message) you must ask the owner of that content for permission (that's kida the whole idea of DRM)

If they're sending you threatening messages, why would they give you permission to use it as evidence against them?

what benefit are you really going to get by being able to save a threatening message off the interweb? <snip> keep it to show the police? pffft... gimme a break.

No, I will not give you a break on that matter.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231905)

BBC can shove it. It's legal in most of the Europe to bypass DRM on anything aquired legally as it is treated as a software glitch and error preventing you from using legally obtained material.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43231625)

Not only it's going to close the web, it's going to both close it AND fragment it. EME will bring us in a worse situation than "Netscape vs Internet Explorer" in the 90s, because EME is NOT a fully-specified standard, but rather an open-ended framework allowing the browser to load incompatible, binary-only plugins able to decrypt arbitrary fragments of web pages (not only videos). So for instance you'll have sites that work with Chrome, and others that require Adobe's decryption plugin. And this incompatibility hell will not be solved by open source, as Firefox and WebKit did the last time the web was broken, because DRM by definition can NOT be implemented by open source software.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#43231723)

What is the W3C 'Working' Group doing on this anyway?

HTML5 wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the WHATWG going around the W3C (who was busy fucking up CSS standards at the time)...

W3C needs to go away...

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231767)

close the web

you gotta be pretty dumb if you expect anyone to buy into that, but people fantasize about all sorts of shit so good luck with that

the "incompatability hell" that you speak of is the situation as it currently stands... you either use Flash, Silverlight, or some other proprietary plugin or program... lack of a standard will perpetuate this problem

it doesn't matter who develops the standard. what matters is who controls the standard. would you rather Microsoft or Adobe control the DRM plugins of choice, or would you prefer the W3C to manage and control it? i know which i would prefer, and a W3C controlled standard is far more likely to be implemented across the board than any vendor-specific plugins that have been designed to lock the user into a vendor ecosystem

so a DRM standard doesn't have to be open source, nor does it have to be vendor specific

if you are really worried about fragmentation of the web (and not just your personal freedom to download content illegally) you would be supporting such a venture

it doesn't take a genius to figure out why many users of the internet are opposed to a DRM standard

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43231827)

Since you keep talking about a "DRM standard" or even a "W3C controlled standard", you haven't read or understood what the EME specification is about. Please do that before commenting.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231761)

It's not going to knock DRM off the web.

If there is no universal alternative to non-drm content then it just might. Content is useless if nobody can see it. We have plenty of examples of media wanting DRM curtailed by consumer reality. See previous bouts of consumer rejection of DRM music and DVD sales that still rival blueray despite burning desires to kill off DVDs.

Putting the ability to serve DRM content into HTML is not going to close the web.

Its not going to help either.

Re:Not putting in DRM isn't going to eliminate DRM (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43231933)

Because you will have no choice but to ban Linux or lock it down? Frankly I've been predicting this one for a couple of years, its why both Apple and MSFT were quick to jump on H.26X over WebM or Theora because they both know the future is locked down media that the masses want and FOSS by its very design isn't DRM friendly.

But the reason why it can't work on Linux without some sort of code signing and/or hardware based enforcement is actually rather simple, for DRM to work it has to have some way to trust the system is enforcing its rules. with Apple and MSFT the kernel can't be altered by the user therefor the DRM can see that the kernel isn't altered and "trust" it for lack of a better term. With FOSS you can recompile any part of the system to "lie" to the DRM and say "Sure its going straight to the screen, no worries" while in actuality the "screen" is really a file. This again was by design as RMS made the GPL to be USER not developer friendly, if the developers like it fine and if not tough shit because ultimately with FOSS the user has the most rights.

So while I can see why many are getting their panties in a twist as this will make media content pretty much limited to the big three (I predict Google will lock down Android so they can play the content, Google has been very careful to only allow GPL V2 which has the TiVo loophole) I hate to say this but...you deserve it. I'm sorry but you do, when the public made Apple the biggest corp on the planet while they had some of the most user unfriendly policies you said to the corps "Hey we'll put up with anything that is hip and shiny" and now they are just giving you what you voted for with your dollars. See how MSFT has become a bad Apple clone, everyone is tripping over themselves to crank out iPad ripoffs, hell even Canonical has gotten in on the game with UbuntuPhone.

So while I wish it wasn't so, I personally screamed bloody murder at H.264 replacing Flash instead of an open codec like Theora or WebM honestly? its too late, you are wasting your breath, the masses have spoken and the future is gonna be glorified game consoles. The corps will decide what you can do and when you can do it and the masses will slurp it up because it means they never have to think or care about what they run and whether it has a viruses because mommy corp will take care of things for you. Frankly the future is REALLY gonna suck guys, the web that was free and open is gonna go the way of Gopher and BBS and in its place? A giant home shopping network. Man its fucking depressing but when people are willing to hand over billions to those that are control freaks like Apple...what do you expect?

Let em do it... (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43231399)

It will just be another technology that ends up falling on it's face while sucking money out of the corporations while they try to get it adopted as the mainstream or most adopted technology. If they are good for all, they will get used. If they aren't, why on earth would a developer use them? Every W3C set of standards has a bunch of tags that no-one in their right mind uses - or they come up with great new ways to get what they want out of them. I mean as an example (though it never made it into W3C) but look at Silverlight, Microsoft tried to take the market away from Flash, invested heavily into Silverlight, no doubt paid a LOT of developers to use their stuff, I found for a while a bunch of free downloads that "asked" to install Silverlight along with their code.

Look at these stats:

According to statowl.com, Microsoft Silverlight has a penetration of 64.16% on May 2011. Usage on July 2010 was 53.54%, whereas Adobe Flash is installed on 95.26% of browsers, and Java support is available on 76.51% of browsers (May 2011); these statistics makes Adobe Flash the market leader in terms of penetration.[20] As of 26 August 2011, 0.3% sites are using Silverlight,[21] whereas site usage of Adobe Flash is around 27%.

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Silverlight#Adoption [wikipedia.org]

Re:Let em do it... (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231505)

Yeah, but counting "the number of sites" using Silverlight or Flash is silly. Netflix is one of those sites, and it's the single largest streaming video, DRM, and bandwidth user on the planet by a huge margin.

If HTML5 adopted a studio-approved DRM solution Netflix (and most other streaming providers) would drop Silverlight and Flash in a heartbeat. There is definitely something to be said for that...

Re:Let em do it... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43231567)

Netflix is one of those sites

Yeah, I sort of think that that statement actually makes my point even stronger. Look at how many millions Microsoft has put into Silverlight. Now, if they only have a handful of sites using it, they can only make money back off those same sites. Lets face it, the only reason that Netflix would choose to adopt a new technology is if it made it cheaper for them. Even iTunes pissed off the studios by offering DRM free content because they saw it would make them more money.

If everyone starts using DRM, a site will pop up that doesn't use it if there is a want of it from the consumers.

Re:Let em do it... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231771)

If everyone starts using DRM, a site will pop up that doesn't use it if there is a want of it from the consumers.

Except that's not how it works.... Netflix uses DRM because that's what the studios require. No site can pop up that doesn't use because they will never be allowed to license the content.

An also, DRM provider revenue is also not something you can base on the number of sites. These proprietary DRMs like Adobe Access and MS PlayReady charge per license issued (basically per stream), so Netflix alone could be enough business to make MS PlayReady profitable.

the only reason that Netflix would choose to adopt a new technology is if it made it cheaper for them.

Yes - and that is exactly MY point. If they could standardize on HTML5 for the UI and video player and pick any of a number of competing DRMs, they WILL be able to consolidate their various application platforms, WILL be able to choose the cheapest DRM, and there WILL finally be price competition on DRM technologies!

Re:Let em do it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231903)

There is plenty of price competition for DRM - lots of companies offer it - some give it away, some charge.

Re:Let em do it... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231961)

There is plenty of price competition for DRM - lots of companies offer it - some give it away, some charge.

Any specific examples of that? And if it's not studio approved, it's useless in this context.

And second - DRM is also useless without integration into an application platform. Which goes back the entire point of this discussion about implentation-agnostic DRM integration with HTML5...

Re:Let em do it... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231779)

If everyone starts using DRM, a site will pop up that doesn't use it if there is a want of it from the consumers

yep the interweb is full of illegally shared content.... but that doesn't make it any less illegal

Re:Let em do it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231853)

A flawed example is flawed. Netflix has their CEO on board at MS, so they will adopt whatever crazy tech MS comes out with. Also it is the real reason why Netflix does not work on Linux. It is like saying winphone made it big because Nokia makes them.

Re:Let em do it... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43231863)

No, Hastings LEFT the MS board 6 months ago without explanation. Which makes the example even MORE interesting...

Re:Let em do it... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43232071)

A flawed example is flawed. Netflix has their CEO on board at MS, so they will adopt whatever crazy tech MS comes out with. Also it is the real reason why Netflix does not work on Linux. It is like saying winphone made it big because Nokia makes them.

it works on linux.
android linux..
and chromeos linux.

their content deals demand a token drm, even if it doesn't work - as long as they can find some company that says that it works so it isn't their problem.

Re:Let em do it... (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43231945)

Absolutely nothing is to be said for that. You would still be limited to whatever platforms Netflix chose to target with their encryption module, and vulnerable to whatever exploits said module introduces. I suspect that said module would become the linchpin for all licensing negotiations, thus crippling the ability for all devices to be HTML5 compatible.

I expect that what will happen if EME is adopted, is that it will be extended to cover entire websites with the next revision.

Thus EME promises to solve no problems and make the future of the open web extremely dark.

Regional Control (2)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year ago | (#43231417)

Stuff like this wouldn't be so bad if we didn't know how much an asshole these companies have always shown themselves to be in the past. Media stored on the cloud or a computer became fantastic for me because I didn't have to worry about a DVD working in the USA but then not working in another country. That means if you ever move to another country that you will have to re-buy every DVD in your collection. Fuck that. Now, I bet they'll add the same type of control here. You must buy a DRM for your specific country or even more ridiculous restrictions than this (like fast forwarding as mentioned in the article, etc.).

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. The free get freer, and the shackled get deader.

Re:Regional Control (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231783)

Stuff like this wouldn't be so bad if we didn't know how much an asshole these companies have always shown themselves to be in the past

i think the whole point of this is that it shifts control from the companies you despise to the W3C, which is less dispicable

or would you rather keep getting your DRM protected content through plugins controlled by the companies you despise?

the providers of DRM protected content won't change... what you're really doing is trying to shoot the messenger

Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231419)

HTML5 was supposed to be better than Flash, and excluding DRM is exactly what would make it better.

How about all these new fangled things FUCKING WORKING AS WELL AS FLASH DOES? Wouldn't that make it better?

I'm for it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231421)

The reality is that some apps (like Netflix) require DRM. Why not offer a standard way to do it?

Re:I'm for it. (0)

stevedog (1867864) | about a year ago | (#43231517)

Exactly. No one intrinsically likes regulation of any kind -- we only do it because it's necessary, and by participating in the process of regulation, we have some hope of at least shaping it. DRM isn't inherently the devil. Without DRM, we would still be going to Blockbuster or, at best, waiting for our red envelopes to watch any non-pirated movies. I'm no fan of DRM by any stretch, but acting like it is absolute evil and could never result in anything good makes us just as bad as the **AAs. DRM actually can be done right... just ask Valve.

Re:I'm for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231987)

Why not offer a standard way to do it?

Fair enough, but this proposal won't do that.

Just like 'HTML5 Video' it is describing some basics of the protocol, not the actual DRM implementation.

NO (3, Interesting)

technosaurus (1704630) | about a year ago | (#43231457)

1 standard is better than 1000 crappy implementations - if you don't like it just disable it like you do any other browser option and you'll never be burdened with DRM'd content.

Re: NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231475)

The problem is that the DRM being implemented will become patented technology (which is what happened to DVD players), so that any changes to the browser technology could be vetoed by the patent holders (again, what happened to DVD players). That will bring innovation to a halt.

Re: NO (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231793)

so i guess you boycott all gif images and mpegs too?

That's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231489)

a standard s bad. We don't want DRM to take off on the web. Let it stay on Flash.

Thankfully, I doubt Apple is interested in implementing this if it's anything like Blu-ray's DRM.

Re:NO (2)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43231751)

1) There is no standard for encryption. It's just the plugin scheme which is being standardized, so you WILL have competing standards. Hint: Adobe is one of the proponents of this standard.
2) DRM can't be implemented by open-source applications, and it can be implemented only weakly on open platforms, so content providers will still have the option to tell you "sorry, you can only watch our site on non-jailbroken iPhones or non-rooted Samsung-branded Android phones" - in a standard way.
3) We're not talking about defining a standard for DRM, we're talking about putting DRM in the standard that EVERYONE has to implement in order to talk "the Web". So everyone is burdened by this proposal.

Re:NO (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43231949)

No, you'll have 1000 crappy DRM modules running in the background, exposing you to all of their flaws and limiting you to the platforms they support.

This solves no real problems, except to shift them from Flash/Silverlight to an unknown, black-box module.

Oh, the horror! (0, Troll)

node 3 (115640) | about a year ago | (#43231511)

Yeah, it would allow people to view sites like Netflix and Hulu without a plugin. Oh, the horror!

Here's the thing. DRM exists. It's not going to go away because a bunch of reactionaries leave it out of some web standard. That's because it already doesn't exist in that web standard! And DRM is doing quite fine without it.

What this will do, instead, is hasten the demise of Flash and Silverlight. Video that is currently DRM'd will now be available without a plugin, right from the browser. This gives the consumer more choice.

What it will not do is all of a sudden turn every web video into a DRM'd stream. It means more video, not less.

Re:Oh, the horror! (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year ago | (#43231585)

Yeah, it would allow people to view sites like Netflix and Hulu without a plugin.

Probably not.

This standard just provides a way for the browser to work with the DRM. The actual rights removal will still have to be implemented elsewhere.

Re:Oh, the horror! (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231801)

it might mean old versions of ad block won't work any more

Re:Oh, the horror! (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43231959)

All the DRM shills are out in force tonight.

You'll still need a plugin. Something has to decrypt the video stream, and that thing HAS to be closed source. Aiding and abetting DRM will simply give those who wish to use it even more power. So you will hasten the demise of Flash and Sliverlight, so what. You will introduce a browser-level means for encryption, which could readily (and if this goes in will be) used to force encryption on entire websites.

This solves ZERO problems. None. I suspect, rather, it will introduce even more closed binary modules on systems with even weaker cross platform support and even more security holes.

Must *NOT* be stopped. (4, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#43231531)

Look, I don't care if YOU don't want to use DRM'd services like Netflix, but some of us DO, and we'd like to be able to use these sorts of services without proprietary plugins like Silverlight dictating what operating systems we can use it on.

I'm a realist. DRM is idiotic and useless, but the people holding the cards are too dumb to realize that. If that means that I have to accept unobtrusive and transparent DRM to view content because of that, so be it. DRM done right doesn't get in the user's way, and a standardized form of DRM will help keep it from getting in the way. This needs to happen.

Re:Must *NOT* be stopped. (1)

ralphbecket (225429) | about a year ago | (#43231647)

I agree. I really have no problem paying to watch a film; I just don't want paying for it to be a painful, unreliable experience. The way these discussions go on Slashdot, you'd think there was an attempt to make free content illegal.

Re:Must *NOT* be stopped. (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231957)

I have no problem paying for a film. For a reliable experience they cat stream it or use HTML5-s "video" tag. And as a consumer I _want_ an unreliable and bad experience for anything with DRM, so that DRM-free content is in better position. So that those, that don't notice how badly they are being screwed with DRM in the long term would at least see a difference in experience they are getting.

Re:Must *NOT* be stopped. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231705)

You are not a realist, just naive.
The only way for DRM to be barely able to work is if it is implemented as a proprietary plugin or implemented in a proprietary browser.
Otherwise you can easily recompile out the parts you do not like.

Are you ready to see the end of complete Free (as in freedom) browser, for the benefit of trading off Silverlight for your fucking Netflix ?

Yeah I thought so, you deserve neither.

Re:Must *NOT* be stopped. (5, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43231791)

Look, I don't care if YOU don't want to use DRM'd services like Netflix, but some of us DO, and we'd like to be able to use these sorts of services without proprietary plugins like Silverlight dictating what operating systems we can use it on.

Sorry, but it's YOU who want to use DRM'd services who must not drag other people into paying the price of your DRM. And by paying the price I mean the added complexity which I will pay to develop, the computational overhead which I will pay with my energy bill, and above all, the platform lockdown which is necessary to support a minimally meaningful DRM subsystem which I will find in the devices I bought. Define all the standards you want, but don't put them into HTML.

I'm a realist. DRM is idiotic and useless, but the people holding the cards are too dumb to realize that. If that means that I have to accept unobtrusive and transparent DRM to view content because of that, so be it. DRM done right doesn't get in the user's way, and a standardized form of DRM will help keep it from getting in the way. This needs to happen.

Then as a realist you need to know that EME is nothing like that! EME does not specify a single standard, but rather an unified framework allowing binary-only plugins or incompatible binary-only browser implementations dictate what parts of HTML pages you're allowed to save on your PC, depending on who you are, what you're doing and what operating system you're running. In other words, it's just like the Flash plugin without the presentation layer. And unlike Flash, it won't be possible to implement it with open source code.

Re:Must *NOT* be stopped. (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231947)

If you want an anal probe, for god's sake, get one. Just stop trying to push one up everyone's hole and make it a standard. Community should not waste it's resources doing corporation's dirty job for them. They want DRM ? Let them come up with solutions. I will not pay for it. As I'm not paying for DRMed content. Ever. I would rather donate to anyone removing DRM.

The line in the sand... (3, Insightful)

SwampChicken (1383905) | about a year ago | (#43231535)

....has been drawn my fellow geeks.

Re:The line in the sand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231643)

Emerge from your basement and join us! The time is now!

Re:The line in the sand... (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231809)

the pragmatic ones or the ones bitching about losing their ability to download content illegally?

Re:The line in the sand... (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about a year ago | (#43231967)

Last I checked torrent sites were not the ones wanting the DRM plugins. Because illegal download sites provide DRM-free content. So those, who download illegaly don't give a rat about those plugins. Those ripping the content will still find a way to rip it quickly and efficiently (name one DRM that didn't fail?) and nothing will change for that crowd.
It's the legit users that want to do things legally that will get shafted.

HTML5 needs to stop (1)

Dracos (107777) | about a year ago | (#43231559)

Seriously, everyone raves about it, but it's already poisoned candy. Adding DRM to it would just be adding a razor blade.

The HTML5 spec as it stands now is a mess. The semantics are laughable. Sectioning is a mess. The expanded set of characters allowed in identifiers means lots of ugly escape sequences in CSS and Javascript when those new characters are used (seriously, try writing a selector for <div id="foo.bar[baz]"></div>). And there's still no grouping element for dt and dd elements in dictionary lists.

Right now HTML5 is little more than a buzzword that means canvas, just like DHTML was a buzzword that meant DOM manipulation with Javascript. There is a lot of other promising stuff in there (the new form inputs are long overdue), but much of it is defined unbelievably poorly. It's a trainwreck waiting to happen.

Re:HTML5 needs to stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231749)

the new form inputs are long overdue

It's not like the subject of forms [w3.org] has not been touched before. HTML5 is going the entirely wrong direction. Instead of modularizing a solid XML dialect (or several), we get a bunch of tags cobbled together from various other XML projects and a parser that approves of tag soup. Canvas has nothing to do with hypertext markup, forms have nothing to do with hypertext markup. They belong in their own modules or XML dialects. The sectioning tags are incomplete and a poor substitute for The XHTML Role Attribute [w3.org] , which, unlike the HTML5 sectioning tags, is extensible.
Take a look at XHTML 2 [w3.org] , in particular things like XHTML Hypertext Attributes Module [w3.org] and tell me how HTML5 is anything but a step in the wrong direction.

Re:HTML5 needs to stop (1)

Dracos (107777) | about a year ago | (#43231787)

I agree with absolutely everything you said, except for forms being a separate XML dialect (module, OK).

I can't believe TBL has allowed WHATWG, whos agenda and thought process seem substantially built on their hatred of XML, to prevail over XHTML2. Allowing, nay encouraging, sloppy markup in a spec is unfathomable.

Re:HTML5 needs to stop (1)

Ugot2BkidNme (632036) | about a year ago | (#43231849)

The decision was based on certain members saying they would never adopt XHTML 2. SO corporate got there way and we ended up with the bastardization that is HTML5. You know HTML5 has made some great decisions bringing back all those great semantically meaningless style tags because css is just too difficult. Next I am waiting for the sarcasm tag.

Re:HTML5 needs to stop (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43231821)

The HTML5 spec as it stands now is a mess

compared to what exactly?

maybe html 4.01

Natural Organic Copyright Limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231601)

What if there were a recognized correlation between the technical and legal limits of copyright law. As soon as "the" standard DRM scheme is broken, public domain for all intellectual goods published before that event. Will align incentives and lead to future hedging. Create a sense of fairness and open competition as well.

DRM and Open Source don't mix (1)

enoz (1181117) | about a year ago | (#43231607)

This extension is really just a API to communicate with DRM plugins. Whilst it would be good to standardise on a single API, it still requires having closed source plugins to do the actual decoding.

Kinda like what Flash does now.

EME Is A Good Thing.. Here's Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231685)

If EME is built into web standards, it will be an easy matter to build EME content blocking into web browsers. I, and millions of others who are opposed to this bullshit, would embrace a direct method of being able to boycott DRM without even having to think about it.

I can't believe what I'm reading. (3, Insightful)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43231701)

When I see comments on the inclusion of Digital Restriction Management in Web standards couched in approving tones, I know that I must be getting old. To me the only valid use of DRM in the long term is as an answer to a trivia question on screwy 'net practices of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

If in the interim DRM is deemed necessary for some things by some people then incorporate it in a desktop or browser widget as is currently done, say, for Netflix.

And no, I haven't any wonderful answers to all kinds 'good' questions on this, or any deep thoughts on this and the related larger issues; it's just my old fart reaction.

When I bought a book, it was mine. When I used a camera it wasn't locked in to one film manufacturer. Anything with an engine would happily use any brand of gasoline of the correct octane range. When I found that a DVD player/burner I had bought was region-locked, I half flipped. Ditto, when terms of 'sale' for a program I bought on CD forbade making an archive copy.

But then, when I went to see a movie at the theater the thought to bring a movie camera never crossed my mind.

Oh, yeah, just for grins: take Netflix for an example - it uses some kind of DRM, right? (Yeah, I know it does, 'cuz I had to fire up an vm of XP to install Silverlight - until an enterprising duo came up with a wonderful change to Wine that lets me use Netflix from my Ubuntu desktop.) So then, just how many of the protected movies on Netflix don't have torrent or magnet links somewhere? If the answer is few to none, then WTF is the use of having the DRM?

Mcx Tips (-1, Offtopic)

mcxprovider (2623751) | about a year ago | (#43231703)

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W3C wants to be your big brother (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year ago | (#43231713)

What is the W3C 'Working' Group doing on this anyway?

HTML5 wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the WHATWG going around the W3C (who was busy fucking up CSS standards at the time)...

W3C needs to go away...

DRM has no place in codebase

DRM==Don't Reward Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43231799)

Just make it good and obvious so we can blacklist crippled crap.

Standardizing DRM is probably a good idea (1)

proca (2678743) | about a year ago | (#43231811)

Instead of dealing with all kinds of stupid proprietary bullshit as paying customers, it might be nice to try something different.

In 200 years time (1)

futhermocker (2667575) | about a year ago | (#43231815)

Digital archaeologists are only able to browse the ancient web on their emulators until the day in history W3C introduced DRM.

That is one of MY biggest cons against DRM in HTML.

Re:In 200 years time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43232033)

Wait wait.. I first thought 'very insightful'..

Then i realized, that in 200 years, if they have emulators and thus still have working computers (in other words: the apocalypse didn'n arrive yet); the pocket watch of such scientist would have got more than enough computer power to crack any key in existance today in a nanosecond...

Apart that detail, i couldn't agree more.

EME == Active-X on all web browsers (2)

knorthern knight (513660) | about a year ago | (#43232067)

EME is proposed as an API, allowing "binary blobs" to execute. That's ***EXACTLY*** what Active-X does in Internet Explorer. Just like Active-X, the binary blobs won't be a complete stand-alone OS. Instead, they'll hook into your operating system, with high privileges. That means that the binary blobs will be OS-specific.

I can see compromised websites popping up with requests to load codec-XXX to "See Sexy Suzy Stripping". And there'll be a lot of idiots who'll fall for it.

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