Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

What's Actually Wrong With DRM In HTML5?

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the same-thing-that's-wrong-with-mayonnaise-on-a-hamburger dept.

DRM 447

kxra writes "The Free Culture Foundation has posted a thorough response to the most common and misinformed defenses of the W3C's Extended Media Extensions (EME) proposal to inject DRM into HTML5. They join the EFF and FSF in a call to send a strong message to the W3C that DRM in HTML5 undermines the W3C's self-stated mission to make the benefits of the Web 'available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.' The FCF counters the three most common myths by unpacking some quotes which explain that 1.) DRM is not about protecting copyright. That is a straw man. DRM is about limiting the functionality of devices and selling features back in the form of services. 2.) DRM in HTML5 doesn't obsolete proprietary, platform-specific browser plug-ins; it encourages them. 3.) the Web doesn't need big media; big media needs the Web." Also: the FSF has announced that a coalition of 27 web freedom organizations have sent a joint letter to the W3C opposing DRM support in HTML5.

cancel ×

447 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

SCOAMF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43539917)

Barack Obama is a Stuttering Clusterfuck of a Miserable Failure.

Re:SCOAMF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540027)

DRM-free content is racist.

Downs Syndrome is no joke, but you are. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540153)

Is that what the Tard Party calls it when a loss of 700k jobs per month becomes a gain of 200k jobs per month, and the stock market hovers near all time highs, while the housing market picks up steam?

Let's be real here for a moment.

You have Down Syndrome.

You should have been aborted, but you weren't so please shut the fuck up.

Re:Downs Syndrome is no joke, but you are. (4, Informative)

Dputiger (561114) | about a year ago | (#43540253)

The top 1% of the US captured 121% of the wealth generated during the "recovery." The bottom 99% actually got poorer.

http://boingboing.net/2013/02/13/economic-recovery-in-the-us-ac.html [boingboing.net]

That's why, despite record stock gains, real wage growth is flat. Improvements in the unemployment rate overall are much smaller once you count the number of discouraged workers or consider the underemployed. The jobs being generated don't pay as well as the ones people lost, and they don't include the same level of benefits.

Facts. They kick ass.

Re: Downs Syndrome is no joke, but you are. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540477)

Funny that you don't mention the bush tax cuts that keep getting extended. Or bills intended to raise the minimum wage that also keep getting shot down. Facts... Maybe you should look at _all_ of them?

A president can only be as successful as his congress, which has been utter rubbish the past few years, and has singlehandedy been the source of much of the anti-prosperity we've been dealing with... Because they can't do their jobs.

Re: Downs Syndrome is no joke, but you are. (1, Offtopic)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#43540569)

Funny that you don't mention the bush tax cuts that keep getting extended.

You mean those tax cuts that lapsed in January of this year? The ones where my wife and I probably wont get a tax return above 1500$ this year?

Re:Downs Syndrome is no joke, but you are. (-1, Offtopic)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#43540589)

How do you capture 121% of the wealth? Did they take 100%, then give 21% back and then steal it again or something?

What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43539941)

It exists...

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540001)

DRM in HTML5 doesn't obsolete proprietary, platform-specific browser plug-ins; it encourages them.

The only reason any thinking human ever made a conscious informed decision to install Silverlight was to watch Netflix.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43540071)

The only reason any thinking human ever made a conscious informed decision to install Silverlight was to watch Netflix.

I've always assumed the name "Silverlight" was chosen precisely because it was a platform designed primarily to allow you to watch movies.

DRM means I get to watch Netflix, so I'm all for DRM in HTML5. If it's not embraced in some way by the standard, it will happen anyway, and be platform specific and even more annoying.

There is no "movies without DRM" option available to the standards committee, sorry.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#43540155)

Really? I always thought they chose that because "Silverfish" was already trademarked by someone else.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (3, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43540185)

If it's not embraced in some way by the standard, it will happen anyway, and be platform specific and even more annoying.

And this is why circumvention is important and necessary.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43540259)

I've always assumed the name "Silverlight" was chosen precisely because it was a platform designed primarily to allow you to watch movies.

DRM means I get to watch Netflix, so I'm all for DRM in HTML5.

Have you read the proposed standard? All it provides for are some javascript bits and pieces for interacting with the 'CDM', a totally unspecified piece of software and/or hardware that handles decryption and optionally on-screen rendering.

They don't call it this, of course; but it's a plugin, albeit one that is invoked in the 'video' tag rather than the 'object' tag.

No CDM for your platform? No playback. That's the thing, this isn't even some 'well, pragmatic compromise to gain greater functionality' thing: it constitutes absolutely no improvement over the current 'proprietary plugin required to playback DRMed movies' situation, it just changes 'plugin' to 'Content Decryption Module' and slightly changes the mechanism for talking to it.

Platform independent? Absolutely nothing in the spec about that(indeed, 'CDM may use or defer to platform capabilities', so it's explicitly OK for CDMs to have design features that require certain platform specific features).

An improvement in the integration of video into the page, DOM access, etc? Well, requesting the encrypted video is handled in javascript and HTML; but the CDM blackboxes everything from decryption to (optionally, probably mandatory if anybody is worried about the browser just grabbing decrypted frames) painting onscreen. Totally opaque blob embedded in the page, just like a plugin.

Other than giving the "HTML5!" stamp of approval to absolutely whatever CDMs people wish to use, the proposal really isn't "in" HTML5 at all. The CDM, the only important part of the game, is 'HTML5' in the sense that Java Applets, or flash objects, or ActiveX controls, are HTML: they can be embedded in web pages using HTML tags. That's it.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540491)

DRM means I get to watch Netflix

Bullshit. If for whatever reason it was physically impossible for DRM to be implemented*, you can bet your ass that Netflix would still exist, with all the same content available on it today. Movie companies wouldn't simply pass up the additional revenue.

*Ignoring for a second the fact that DRM is already impossible because, at its core, it means disallowing access to Brad but allowing access to Carl, when Brad and Carl are the same fucking person.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (5, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#43540555)

Just so you can watch netflix, we ought to fuck over HTML5?

No, fuck you and your overly endowed sense of entitlement.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43540157)

I watch Netflix and I never installed Silverlight. It's only required if you're nerd enough to watch movies on your computer screen, using a Web browser.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540271)

How does it feel?

To be this cool?

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (-1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43540385)

You see normal people as cool? I pity you.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43540457)

If only there were some way to hook a computer to an HDTV, but that would be impossible right?

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540505)

It's "nerd" to watch movies on a computer? Grow up you antiquated moron. I set up exactly that kind of thing for friends and family because they found it easier to type out a movie name into Netflix search despite their horrendous point and peck typing. Their TVs are plugged into their PC's second monitor port and set for clone so that the TV and monitor get the same picture. Not much "nerd" about it when this is people that are pretty dumb when it comes to computers and technology in general.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43540559)

I think you need to brush up on your logic statements... a converse is not equivalent ;)

"If you have installed Silverlight, you must watch Netflix" != "if you watch Netflix, you must have installed Silverlight"...

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (1)

jakimfett (2629943) | about a year ago | (#43540275)

Actually, I first installed it (under great protest) when WotC discontinued their DnD character builder application for the Windows desktop.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540029)

Exactly.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (2)

larpon (974081) | about a year ago | (#43540229)

I second that. The simple look, feel and maybe even taste of the phrase "rights management" gives me the creeps. Rights are supposed to free - no matter to whom they belong.

Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (2)

Miros (734652) | about a year ago | (#43540325)

What? There are a lot of different 'rights' out there - are you arguing that there shouldn't be notions of property and 'property rights?'

Bias (5, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43539987)

As much as like the concept of "open and free", blah blah blah - I'm not really buying the argument. I don't want to swallow "big media's" load of tripe on the issue - things aren't all black-and-white. I don't necessarily swallow the arguments made by the OP about wanting to "sell back services" and "limiting functionality of devices". "Big Media" doesn't care about your device or what it does - it *does* care about piracy, though. So let's call a spade a spade, and admit that it *is* about copy protection (whether you like/agree with it or not).

This is like the old DIVX argument from years ago. Just because your device is *capable* of playing protected content - it doesn't mean you *have* to play (or pay for) protected content. It would be nice to be able to offer the functionality for services like Netflix, Amazon, or whoever else you want to watch, in a standardized, cross-platform manner, without every media provider having to build some hokey Java or Flash player into every browser, TV, DVD player, Game console, etc etc etc - and still have wonky support for only half the devices, and no support for "new" services on "legacy" devices.

But I digress - I'm not trying to sway anyone's opinion on the matter - let's just call a spade a spade - it *is* about copy-protection.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540043)

I agree. Also:

the Web doesn't need big media; big media needs the Web.

It's entirely mutual. I want licensed big media content. They want my dollars. If they provided me with good cheap DRM'd service, they'd have my dollars. As of yet they don't quite get there.

Re:Bias (4, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | about a year ago | (#43540209)

"If they provided me with good cheap DRM'd service, they'd have my dollars."

And I guess that's where this is really irritating. Because, as of yet, there hasn't been a "good" nor "cheap," let alone "good and cheap" DRM service. Really, DRM has been about making sure you have to fit a very specific set of conditions to view content that you probably paid for. Usually those conditions involve "viewing from Device P, running Operating System Q, with Browser R," even though it has nothing to do with the content you're viewing.

So, we look at Netflix as the opening case. To watch a movie in Netflix on my laptop that is running Linux, I have to jump through a large number of hoops... Or, I can fire up my Xbox 360, or my PS3, or another machine running Windows. Why is that? Certainly it's not about stopping piracy... Because I can still jump through those hoops and get there.

DVD regions... Why did they exist? It was certainly not to prevent piracy, because you could easily copy the bejeezus out of them. Rather, it's to prevent you from buying a copy cheaply in one region, and bringing it home... Because their content is overpriced here. BlueRay? Same deal right? Again, not about piracy.

Really, DRM has always been about soaking legal users as much as possible, or it's been about shady corporate deals to force users onto particular platforms to make them have to pay their partners. That is all it accomplishes, and that's perfectly fine with them.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540359)

So, we look at Netflix as the opening case. To watch a movie in Netflix on my laptop that is running Linux, I have to jump through a large number of hoops

Bad example, because Netflix runs on just about every other platform besides desktop Linux out of the box.

Windows
MacOS
iOS
(some flavors of) Android
Various set top box / game consoles (Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, etc.)
Various "smart" tv brands via built in apps;

That they don't happen to support your specific niche platform is unfortunate, but given the wide range of devices & operating systems they DO support, it's pretty hard to argue that they're not pretty goddamned permissive with where they allow you to view content.

Eliminate DVD regions, and what you'll see is that the prices in "rich" places stay the same, while prices go UP in poorer markets. That the cost of producing a copy of a DVD or CD is low says nothing about the cost or *producing* the data on that disk in the first place.

Re:Bias (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#43540591)

Have you actually ever bought a DVD in a "poorer market"? Not a pirated DVD, but one properly licensed and imported? You actually think it is cheaper than the $5 bin at Walmart?

Re:Bias (0)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year ago | (#43540303)

I want licensed big media content. They want my dollars.

No, they don't. Web has been a major thorn in their side for many years. Big Media wants 100% control or they want it to die. They want you to go back to their $100/month cable TV with 50% time dedicated to ads, 40% garbage that you WILL watch because of no choice, and 10% heavily censored and biased information they call "news". They want you to pay $16 per music track (with another 9 "filler" tracks). They want you to read stuff they approve you to read, not some "out of print illegal to distribute" editions.

Big Media has been working on control of the Web relentlessly, buying legislators, pushing international agreements on unsuspecting countries, sneaking into UN and Trade agreements. At this point of time the ISPs are at their command (for free, mind you), and so are file share and video streaming. The only area where they did not mark until now was the "Open Web" standards....

Very soon you will find yourself in the DRM'd Big Media Interwebs, where you can [ONLY] watch Disney Channel or FOX upon payment of a modest $100/month premium, never mind the advertisements that you will also HAVE to watch. Everything else will be declared infringing non-approved, taken down by FBI or otherwise dissapear under questionable circumstances.

Re:Bias (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43540483)

If they provided me with good cheap DRM free service, they'd have my dollars.

Re:Bias (5, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year ago | (#43540067)

For DVDs, at least, it's about forcing makers of DVD players to respect the "can't skip commercials" features of commercial DVD discs.

That way the commercials are force-ably watched. (at least on hardware players)

As copy protection goes, it's as good as ROT-13 for encrypting text.

Re:Bias (0)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540125)

What does HTML5 standards have to do with DVDs?

Re:Bias (1)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#43540169)

Sometimes you're forced to watch commercials on the web too.

Re:Bias (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540197)

Yes - I *am* forced to do this, despite the existence of an HTML-standard DRM. But today I'm forced to do it via some very device-specific plug-ins that only work on a fraction of my devices. For this reason, so many devices won't even let me play the content at all - so I am left with *less* choice as a result, and I *still* have to sit through crappy ads.

If you don't like the ads - don't use the service - but don't think you're going to prevent the publishers/distrubutors/whoever remove them altogether - except maybe with your pocket-book. Patronize services who give you what you want.

Re:Bias (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43540333)

This will not change that. The CDM will still be hardware and likely OS specific.

Re:Bias (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#43540235)

DVD's had DRM built into their standard just like they're proposing to do with HTML5.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540411)

DVD's had DRM built into their standard just like they're proposing to do with HTML5.

And the media industries won't use a DRM system like that of DVD. They will instead use a DRM system like that of Blu-Ray that requires continuous updates to be useful. So you'll end up just as with Flash. Update the media component to the latest release else your content on websites a/b/c won't work. We don't need this kind of bullshit in the HTML 5 standard. Companies that are worried about their precioussssssss content being stealed can petition Adobe to continue developing that shit plugin called Flash.

And just as with Flash that doesn't work everywhere, a proprietary DRM solution in HTML 5 will still not work everywhere. So what have you gained ? Nothing at all. Use the old shit to protect shit content. New generations know the value of audio/video content and how to monetize it without resorting to paranoid DRM schemes.

Re:Bias (2)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#43540531)

So big media sits in a vacuum in the web for your argument to hold water? Sounds pretty flimsy.

Put another way, if media companies didn't care about controlling media in any sort of effective way, why not remove all artificial limitations on skipping and have unlimited region support for the media in question? By your argument, these mechanisms cause zero benefit for them, and substantially reduce the enjoyment of their viewing public.

When we have the panacea of web DRM, will that mean I'll have first day access to new shows anywhere in the world? Will I be able to fast-forward, pause, rewind, skip, bookmark, comment on, etc.. these videos? Will I be able to legally transfer my right to watch purchased videos to a peer? Legally take excerpts from the video for humour / reviewing / commenting / archival purposes?

Put more pointedly, why would I support a framework that grants no new rights, and restricts ones I still currently have away? People bought into steam because they 'did it right', and the platform offers value. People bought into Google to browse and share data, because generally Google adds value to your browsing experience. You think Bing or Google's numerous past competitors couldn't catch up to Google eventually? Sure. But Google continually uses the data that YOU give it to make the service a better one.

Media corps on the other hand continually ask for more and give less, so I (and many others it seems) have decided to stop supporting their business model.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540069)

Many times it is about maxing out rev. For example DVD is carved up into regions. Why is that? So they can see a DVD in china for 2 bucks and the same DVD for 20 in the states. It is about slicing your customers into ranges that will max out your rev.

To think it is protecting anything? If it can be watched it can be cracked. It is just a matter of time and knowledge.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540137)

The proposed standard is not a cross-platform manner. It involves downloading and executing a binary blob that will decode the content for the browser. What are the odds that binary blob runs on many different OSes and architectures...

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540183)

it *does* care about piracy, though. So let's call a spade a spade

Let's do that, so I can take off this stupid eye patch and we can honestly debate what my rights should be with content I've paid money for. It's about far more than copy-protection. Can I pause? Can I skip advertisements? Can I watch the show after the company dies? None of those issues are copy protection.

Re:Bias (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540263)

Then if you are faced with purchasing content with such restrictions: don't.

However, if someone wants to have a video service that let's you do all that - maybe you'd elect to patronize them.

Give people the choice and the means to create and offer products and services that will work in a standardized way. Then it's up to the consumer to device what they'll use.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540519)

Then if you are faced with purchasing content with such restrictions: don't.

The problem is that copyright doesn't exactly make for a good free market (being a government-enforced monopoly over ideas and all). If you use DRM to 'protect' your work, you shouldn't be allowed to have copyright on it; no one is necessarily entitled to the ability to force the government to enforce a personal monopoly.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540213)

"Big Media" doesn't care about your device or what it does...

"Big Media" cares about generating profit. Why do you think they care about piracy? If they can profit from controlling your hardware and what you can and cannot do with the devices you own, they will try to do that. If that includes limiting the functionality of devices and selling it back, then they will try to do that.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540237)

Protected content needs to go away.

of course you might not agree if you've never lost your protected content because the provider went away.

Re:Bias (4, Insightful)

blackiner (2787381) | about a year ago | (#43540289)

How about you guys actually think about it for more than five minutes?

If making sure the video stream was encrypted was the big deal, it can just as easily be down with javascript. AES is not some mystical impossible to implement technology. The purpose of DRM in HTML5 serves only one purpose, to add a "black box" to websites. So how is this DRM actually implemented by the browsers? Who the hell knows. If it relies on software, then it will simply be cracked instantaneously. There will be no point to it. Firefox is open source, you can just recompile it to direct DRM streams into a file or something. If it instead redirects the DRM stream to hardware, well, then you are basically fucked. It will only work with certain computers/devices. You end up in a situation similar to websites requiring flash currently, where some sites simply don't work with your tablet or such.

The implementation they seem to want is to have the browser redirect the DRM stream to a software blob that will decrypt it and do "something". God knows what. But it will work on most devices, provided they cross compile plugins. This is the same crappy situation as activeX, where you will are forced to install plugins where you have no idea or control over what they do. If you don't install them, entire pieces of websites will not work. And they will pop up EVERYWHERE.

This is the worst possible outcome, there is a good reason people are fighting this.

Re:Bias (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43540313)

So let's call a spade a spade, and admit that it *is* about copy protection

If it was about copy protection, you would expect DRM to actually protect things from being copied. But I can find copies of anything I want easily, no matter how much DRM has been piled on. Therefore, it cannot actually be about DRM. QED.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540485)

I like this form of argument - it allows you to "prove" things regardless of their actual, objective truthfulness!

Here, let me try: "If it was about preventing violence, you would expect gun control to actually protect people from violence. But I can find instances of people shooting other people easily, no matter how much gun control has been piled on. Therefore, it cannot actually be about preventing violence. QED."

YAY!

Re:Bias (2)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43540581)

The difference is that gun control has actually been shown to reduce gun violence, whereas DRM has never actually prevented anything from being copied.

Re:Bias (2)

Miros (734652) | about a year ago | (#43540605)

I feel like reasonable people can disagree about both sides of that statement.

Re:Bias (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#43540369)

Here's the thing. It takes one guy, anywhere in the world, to break DRM and post it somewhere. Does your DRM eventually decode to a format that a human being can see and hear? Then it will be broken. Someone will use audio/video capture devices if nothing else and all you've done is piss a bunch of people off. DRM for movies and music is fundamentally broken because at some point you've got to end up outputting all the information to the user (at least with SW it is theoretically possible to prevent unauthorized access).

Re:Bias (2)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540509)

I agree. But if a service elects to use it anyway - why not just give them a standardized way to do it - that will work across all devices, rather than making them jump through hoops, creating different plug-ins for all sorts of devices, many of which are less-trivial than others. (Think writing a Firefox plug-in vs. a Tivo or Wii plug-in).

If the services deem this as "sufficient" protection, give them a way to do it. If you're "pissed-off" by the way a particular service choose to implement it, and the restrictions they impose, you are welcome to not use their service. But at least you would be able to run a service that you *did* choose to use on a wide variety of HTML-5 compatible devices.

As it stands today - they can still design DRM that pisses you off, but have less options on what to view them on.

Great example: DVDs are a PITA - they don't let you rewind, or fast-forward through ads. I don't like them - so I don't buy, rent or watch them. With Netflix, I don't "own" the content - but they don't force me to watch ads. For the price they charge, It's a good service and a good deal - so I use them. Netflix is a big enough of a company that they've put their plug-in into my DVD burner, my Tivo, an app on my iPhone, and plug-in's for my browser. Great.

If some other company or service started today - they'd have a VERY steep curve to go and create plug-ins for all such devices - and they would NOT work across any OLD devices.So I'd argue the lack of DRM standards are helping incumbent services maintain their monopolistic market dominance.

Re:Bias (5, Insightful)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43540493)

Big media cares about a lot more than copy protection. They care about reselling you the same content in multiple formats. They care about restricting where, when, and how long you can access content. They want to limit sharing of content. They want more rights than what copyright gives them for longer than the already insanely long copyright term They want to force there content to check in so they have an idea who and where somebody is accessing it. They want control over what operating system and what hardware you access the content on.

DRM is not just copy protection it's a slew of rights the content owners that they never had before. Copy protection can be as simple as watermarking each copy sold, that gives them about what they had in the dead tree age. It's flawed sure but keeps the status quo.

You have to realize that you can keep adding more and more security along the path but it just hampers lawful users. Today's best consumer DRM is still vulnerable to "simple" attacks like emulating a LCD display since that's after the HDCP decoder. Watermarking only gives you a good idea of who to sue not all the rest of the bits.

As to HTML5 it should include a robust media streaming framework. That frameworks must be open. All the DRM systems I know of can not exist without some sort of secret that's obfuscated from the end system but still accessible, that's the antithesis of open.
 

And who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43539999)

This whining about DRM should end. how could "DRM in HTML5" NOT obsolete proprietary, browser-specific plug ins? The reference doesn't even say that. It's just another whining article.

As long as DRM is implemented in a way that doesn't make the browser plug-in itself binary-only, a standard, auditable source code just like we have with everything else, who cares? Oh my god, someone wants to ENCRYPT their video stream!! THE HORRORS!!!! WHO GIVES A FUCK?????????

I could care less about DRM in HTML5. It's better than having to install Flash or Silverlight! Let's get real here.

Re:And who cares? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43540063)

how could "DRM in HTML5" NOT obsolete proprietary, browser-specific plug ins?

Because, uh, "DRM in HTML5" is merely a framework to allow sites to require specific proprietary, browser-specific plugins to display their content?

I could care less about DRM in HTML5.

Probably because you don't understand it.

Re:And who cares? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#43540269)

Because, uh, "DRM in HTML5" is merely a framework to allow sites to require specific proprietary, browser-specific plugins to display their content?

That's the way it ALREADY is. Standardizing HTML5 is exactly what is supposed to *END* that.

Re:And who cares? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43540319)

If you look at the proposed standard, it quite specifically doesn't end that. It just replaces the world 'plugin' with "Content Decryption Module" wherever it appears...

Re:And who cares? (1)

Miros (734652) | about a year ago | (#43540463)

It also specifies a "CDM" that must be implemented by all browsers.

Re:And who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540599)

As long as DRM is implemented in a way that doesn't make the browser plug-in itself binary-only, a standard, auditable source code just like we have with everything else, who cares?

The copyright holders. You know, the only people who want DRM. They won't license their content on anything with open source code.

Finally a group that gets it! (4, Insightful)

rubypossum (693765) | about a year ago | (#43540037)

We don't need to hobble our technologies to make certain people money.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (3, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540151)

How is it "hobbling" the technology. If you don't like the DRM aspect of it - don't watch protected content with it. It's not going to have any affect on you.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year ago | (#43540243)

DRM, by definition, hobbles technology. This is not about "choice" -- if all the major media outlets use this technology, it will be enabled by default on everyone's computer, and everyone's computer will be programmed (by default) to fight against the user.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (2)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540383)

No, it would merely *allow* one to play DRM protected content. If you don't like the protection, don't use that services content. Service do all this today, they just need *proprietary* plug-ins to do so.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540423)

Oh christ, we've been hearing this slippery slope argument forever. And it hasn't happened yet.

Could you at least give us a timeframe when this massive infringement of our rights is going to happen, so we know when we should start feeling terrified?

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540567)

Wheeeee this slippery slope is a fun ride!

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (1)

Miros (734652) | about a year ago | (#43540175)

The people trying to make money from content will deploy whatever technology best enables them to do so. Not enabling your technology to meet this need will simply ensure that they use something else. That something else may not be as good as your solution could have been.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540309)

Exactly this. We'll be stuck with whatever horror show replaces the flash and (*gag*) silverlight solutions they use now. They'll all be different, and be platform specific, and they won't mind that these solutions eschew any linux support. Just as they don't care now.

I think it's funny that all these morons that build a linux HTPC and then scream about Netflix support don't get this. Niche platform support matters less to these people than putting DRM on their suppliers content.

Now is your chance to make it work everywhere, and go from there.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43540371)

This will not change any of that.

The CDM will still be platform specific. It has to be. Otherwise I can just write the output to a file. That makes the DRM dead as a door nail. So instead it will have to use protected path on windows, whatever OSX calls it and that will be it. There will no support for anyone else.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (1)

Miros (734652) | about a year ago | (#43540481)

So your critique is not that DRM is bad, but that the spec does not go far enough in specifying a standard "CDM?"

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43540507)

No, my critique is that DRM is bad and adding it to the spec is useless. It means compromising ideals for absolutely no gain.

There cannot be a standard CDM, DRM implementations have to be hidden and blackbox like. Else they will fail. If the same plugin just took in encrypted files and output them via normal methods capture would be trivial. Hell, linux users could redirect the output to a file.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (1)

Miros (734652) | about a year ago | (#43540585)

Is that true though? Lots of protected content is distributed through systems that use standardized encryption / content protection mechanisms (HLS, for example). However it sounds like your issue is in fact ideological ("DRM is bad"), which is fine, but just your perspective. I wonder how many of Netflix's 33 million subscribers have a similar perspective. My guess would be - not enough to matter.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#43540199)

Yea we want to make technology that no one will use or adopt!

Sorry life requires compromise.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#43540299)

We don't need to hobble our technologies to make certain people money.

As long as you're not the guy complaining down the road that Netflix still hasn't come to Linux.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540409)

Except Netflix is on Linux via android.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540413)

I doubt Netflix will release CDM plugins for Linux. Why would they spend the time to cater to 2% of the market?

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (1)

nametaken (610866) | about a year ago | (#43540373)

We don't need to hobble our technologies to make certain people money.

No. What you're actually advocating is making legal content inaccessible only to the niche you're in, by exclusion, for the sake of ideology.

DRM will exist in most legitimate channels. That's a fact of life for the next 5+ years, yet. The option right now is whether or not you want it to work everywhere.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43540403)

Nope. It will not work everywhere, it cannot.
If the plugin was universal then there is nothing stopping us linux users from writing the output to a file instead of the display. That means the DRM would be useless. Instead it will need a CDM for windows to use protected path, one for whatever OSX uses and that will be that. Nothing else will get support.

Re:Finally a group that gets it! (2)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#43540537)

We don't need to hobble our technologies to make certain people money.

Half of prime time Internet traffic in the states was a licensed Netflix download before Netflix offered a download-only service.

Standard Definition, No multichannel theater sound. No captioning,

The only thing you accomplish by keeping content protection out of the browser is to shift focus to the walled gardens of the OS branded app and app store.

Subscription services?

No problem for OSX and Windows, the Intenet enabled HDTV, the Dennon home theater receiver, the Roku set top box. The Xbox, Playstation or the Wii.

Big problem for the Linux enthusiast not running Android or Chrome.

Even worse than DRM... (2, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540061)

...is that when I went back to the original Slashdot post on "Ian Hickson (author of HTML5 spec.) on the real purpose of DRM" - the enclosed link to the original article made me go through a sign-on to Google Plus" :-O

But the W3C is a Industrial Consortium! (1)

gsnedders (928327) | about a year ago | (#43540091)

The reality of any petition is that the W3C will likely do what its (paying) members want (as it is after all an industrial consortium), and hence it is unlikely to care what others think provided it doesn't hurt growing the membership.

Re:But the W3C is a Industrial Consortium! (2)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#43540381)

Much unlike MPEG, there are no trade requirements that requires these specifications to be followed. They throw them up, and the organization lives and dies by adoption, not because we have to. If W3C wants to release yet another specification that members or the general public decide not to adopt, nobody gets sued, and the specification most likely stick into the vestigial category of web crap thrown in that seemed like a good idea at the time, like VRML or the likes.

Now as stated, W3C is essentially as relevant as the works they publish. If they abandon the wishes of their general community, why would people consider them a good source evolving web standards if they push the platform into areas that nobody cares about? Is a DRM 'specification' relevant because half the browsers support it? Doubtfully.

Who the hell cares if DRM is solved or not. We can't even agree for a set of video codecs to use on it, and that just puts us back to where we are today with plugin platforms that sit on top of the basic web specs, which IMHO isn't a bad thing.

Big Media Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540133)

As a personal Mad Men fan, I do not direct any disgust towards advertising their way; today's advertisers are a whole other collective monster.
This, "Big Media" of yours, needs the web to spread word of mouth and not banner ads and pop-ups...

HTML5 vs Silverlight (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#43540177)

Most of the web's video is streamed from Netflix. That's mostly streamed through Silverlight or browser specific plugins.

How does letting HTML5 natively stream Netflix encourage proprietary browser plugins!? If just Netflix switched over (and they've said they intend to once DRM is in the spec) then by definition the majority of HTML5 streaming will be using less not more browser plugins.

Re:HTML5 vs Silverlight (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43540387)

Because the plugin will still be proprietary and OS specific. It has to be, else we linux users can just fire the output into a file. So instead it has to use some CDM for the OS it is on that only outputs to protected path hardware.

can already do that (1)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#43540549)

You can either run Netflix-on-Windows in a VM or run Netflix via wine....in both cases you could grab the unencrypted video output and dump it to a file for a pristine digital copy (well, as good as what you were watching anyway).

Re:can already do that (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43540583)

Sure, and with this plugin you will be doing the same exact thing. Well probably not the first one, since I think protected path fails on VMs.

Re:HTML5 vs Silverlight (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43540515)

Most of the web's video is streamed from Netflix. That's mostly streamed through Silverlight or browser specific plugins.

How does letting HTML5 natively stream Netflix encourage proprietary browser plugins!? If just Netflix switched over (and they've said they intend to once DRM is in the spec) then by definition the majority of HTML5 streaming will be using less not more browser plugins.

well then whole browser would become the silverlight plugin. just think about it for a second.

but this spec is more like about speccing out another plugin interface, because maybe they had at least the decency to think that doing the whole browser into a closed black box that needs to run isolated from the users own programs was a bad idea and a can of worms. sooo.. none of the implementations using it would be using native html5 streaming as implemented on variety of devices/browsers - and if it did then it wouldn't have meaningful drm.

Re:HTML5 vs Silverlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540603)

..but...but DRM is bad because then I can't pirate all my stuffs for free because I'm a whiny entitled baby a bloo bloo bloo.

Digital Restricted Media... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540261)

Digital Restricted Media is a repeatedly failed and broken system. There is zero need for it in HTML5 or anything else.

If you insist on DRMed content then nothing prevents you from wrapping your content in some digitally restricted format that current day HTML happily delivers. If you insist on DRM you can use it right now without any modification to HTML.

If you encumber HTML with the DRM du jour you not only unnecessarily encumber HTML, you also lock yourself into a system that is GUARANTEED to be broken in short order and completely useless for its intended purpose into the future.

The proposition of inserting DRM into HTML is as absurd as the proposition of inserting Real Networks .ram into HTML. If you want to use that shit, you can now. If you put it into HTML then you've only got more broken shit in HTML.

Executive summary of the comments (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about a year ago | (#43540363)

I need free entertainment. It is immoral to profit from this need.

If there is ONE use for plugins still existing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540367)

It is so that media companies can quit their bitching.
Keep DRM as a plugin, keep it out of the web.

It is trivial to combine a plugin and HTML5 video and audio to playback secure content.
It can and will still remain trivial to also record said content for backup and/or sharing with others.
Whether it is by ripping the data directly or using a virtual audio and video driver that duplicates to a file to capture it directly as it is processed.

What About Plug-ins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540377)

Doesn't flash already lock people out in HTML4? This is something that already happens.

What are we talking about here? An encryption layer, built in to HTML5 to enforce access, similar to DVD CSS?

It's something people can already do without HTML5, thus it doesn't really belong in HTML5, and it's something that can happen anyway, without it being built in.

Re:What About Plug-ins? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43540421)

well apparently this isn't as much of a encryption suite as it is a new name/tag for a plugin.

This is easy... (4, Insightful)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year ago | (#43540495)

DRM is bad.[1]
HTML5 is good.
If a bad thing is included in something good, that thing is still bad.
Therefore, DRM in HTML5 is bad.

[1] It should be obvious DRM is bad, but: https://www.eff.org/issues/drm [eff.org]

In fact, Consumer oriented DRM should be illegal. It's an anti-competive anti-consumer dangerous practice. (I'm totally fine with the military using DRM to protect confidential information, etc).

Re:This is easy... (1)

Miros (734652) | about a year ago | (#43540633)

In fact, Consumer oriented DRM should be illegal. It's an anti-competive anti-consumer dangerous practice.

How is it any more anti-competitive or anti-consumer than copyright in general? If your issue is with copyright why not just come out and say it?

'No DRM' or 'The content you want' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43540497)

You have a choice. Either your platform allows the content providers to at least have an illusion of content control, or the content providers will NOT provide complete access to their products on this platform.

Open source- free software- open standards: these are choices but NOT the only option for a given platform. Microsoft, and more importantly Sony are introducing game changing hardware later this year in the form of next generation consoles. The Xbox720 and PS4 (yeah, you idiots, I KNOW their release names will be different) have been designed from the ground up to be the world's greatest delivery services for media, and both incorporate very sophisticated DRM systems.

Increasing computer power and bandwidth make DRM systems ever easier and 'better'. 'Always on' makes the dream of continuous user authentication a completely achievable concept. DRM is going to get stronger, more powerful, and all pervasive- be in no doubt.

We have ZERO right to complain what others wish to do with what is theirs. What we DO have the right to be concerned about is keeping the generality of our computing platforms for OUR files. The presence of DRM should never mean we are lock out from using hardware acceleration for our files (files of our own creation free from DRM). The 'path' used for DRM encumbered files should always be an alternative to paths used by DRM free files.

Put simply, we should pay NO PRICE for the optional presence of DRM mechanisms on our devices. If we never wish to use a DRM encumbered file, we should be unaware of any issue to do with DRM on the device.

DRM does interfere with the old idea of lending to a friend, but sadly there is nothing that can be done about this when digital files can be replicated in ways books, VHS tapes and even DVDs never could be by the ordinary person expending an ordinary effort. On the other hand, DRM files sold as a product (non-continuous payment with unlimited life ownership) MUST be resellable under the first sale doctrine, and that is something those that create the DRM systems must ensure.

If those that maintain the web standards refuse to allow DRM, the 'everything within the browser' concept will fail, although I think this is a good thing. The current generation of clowns behind such standards think infinite levels of abstraction that mean even simple computing tasks need insane levels of computer processing is reasonable. We are told to be impressed when WebGl, for instance, renders more slowly than an 80386 could do using pure software, even when we have a powerful discrete graphics card.

With everyone that matters forking the code-bases behind the current browsers to provide code 'closer' to-the-metal, such 'principled' discussions about DRM from people like the FSF have become completely irrelevant. The rise of ARM as the new computing standard is bringing "real" back into the business. No-one making mobile, battery powered devices wants them to run like crap any more, because they 'respect' the ideas of people like the FSF. Open-source, open-standards and free software will always be great. Compromising what we can do with our devices because of loony thinking from people on either side of the argument, is not great.

Current method lends itself to monopolies (0)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#43540525)

Netflix is a big enough of a company that they've put their plug-in into my DVD burner, my Tivo, an app on my iPhone, and plug-in's for my browser.

Great.

If some other company or service started today - they'd have a VERY steep curve to go and create plug-ins for all such devices. They would NEVER work across any OLD/existing devices. So I'd argue the lack of DRM standards are helping incumbent services maintain their monopolistic market dominance.

Reply was... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#43540543)

W3C sent them back a letter in conjunction with ICANN sayng "Fuck you and Fuck the Interwebs. We want some of that internet money like the Canadians got!"

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>