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DRM In HTML5 — Better Than the Alternative?

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the dissenting-opinion dept.

DRM 268

Underholdning writes "DRM is coming to HTML5. The W3C published a working draft yesterday of the framework that will support the use of DRM-protected media. Ars Technica's Peter Bright reports on it with an article claiming that DRM in HTML5 is a victory for the open web, not a defeat. Bright argues that if HTML5 does not support DRM, then content providers will move their content away from open standards and implement it with native apps — abandoning the web in the process. Quoting: 'Keeping it out of W3C might have been a moral victory, but its practical implications would sit between slim and none. It doesn't matter if browsers implement "W3C EME" or "non-W3C EME" if the technology and its capabilities are identical. ... Deprived of the ability to use browser plugins, protected content distributors are not, in general, switching to unprotected media. Instead, they're switching away from the Web entirely. Want to send DRM-protected video to an iPhone? "There's an app for that." Native applications on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 8 can all implement DRM, with some platforms, such as Android and Windows 8, even offering various APIs and features to assist this.'"

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Native apps are better anyways (0)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#43694889)

Don't need a heavy-duty web browser every time you need to watch a movie.

But yeah, right now it is the content providers' call. The W3C is going to compete against the native apps, and they need content providers more than the content providers need the W3C.

RIght now, the web is filled with low-quality garbage content, like YouTube. They are so completely worthless compared to professional content that the web could disappear and nothing of value would be lost.

If the W3C implements DRM, then the web might actually be worth something.

Re:Native apps are better anyways (1)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | about a year ago | (#43695577)

In terms of monetary value? You might be right. I totally love money - I eat it.

What's the difference? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43694895)

Neither can be used on a free platform, so what's the difference? How are platform specific encryption modules any better than platform specific native apps?

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694925)

Browser components, surprising how many applications require them. once this is in will it create other unforseen content controls?
Also I can't wait for the first client side security vulnerability.

Re:What's the difference? (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43694969)

Browser components, surprising how many applications require them. once this is in will it create other unforseen content controls?
Also I can't wait for the first client side security vulnerability.

the way I see the html5 drm thing right now is like this: some dudes who would gain something from it are pushing it after having a conversation that went like: "ah darn it, ain'nt anyone doing plugins anymore, 'dem plugins have soo bad reputation. We should design a platform for running closed source code inside browser! and make it html5! and with hooks!"

point being, I don't see it fixing anything in the current system. they could just implement plugins with the old plugin system for things they want to run closed..

Re:What's the difference? (3, Informative)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year ago | (#43695137)

Except with W3C standardization, you can make 1 plugin for all browsers instead of having to navigate the interfaces for IE, Mozilla, and Webkit, and probably just completely ignore all of the less popular browsers like Opera and Konqueror (don't think that everybody using Linux is willing to forego closed-source device drivers and software packages for ideological reasons and just not get decent graphics performance or Flash videos).

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695385)

how?
there is not a standard for plug-ins, just for using them to do drm, soo no still have non-standard platform specific rubbish.

Re:What's the difference? (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43695543)

So you'll still need one plugin for Windows, one for OS X, one for iOS, one for Android, one for Windows RT, etc. (oh and none for Linux.) And then you'll have a multitude of others made by various and sundry companies of varying skill.

I expect that if this takes hold, malware will spread like never seen.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695737)

Basically, this is a vector for attacks if it's too automated. Anyone will be able to ask the user to install their fancy codec/video player, and dumb users will let them. Sure, the browser won't be compromised, but the user's system sure will be.

What's the difference between that and existing plugins? Not much, really. This just stands to make the download and installation of such codecs even easier.. it's just a click away. And we all know the dimmest bulbs are the ones that are the problem, not the people who know better than to install any old thing the web asks them to.

Re:What's the difference? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695777)

Surely you mean one for Windows/x86 (oh, and maybe x64 if we're generous), and one for iOS/ARMv7 (oh, and maybe Android/ARMv7 if we're generous). OS X? WinRT? What's that? May be you'll even say (hah!) Linux?

You'll just have to hope they're not too OS specific, so may be x86 and ARMv7 will (mostly) cover it all and won't need much fucking around to make it work on all platforms. Maybe they'll even be exploit-compatible!

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694961)

The article was about implementing a DRM standard into HTML5. As far as I can tell, there was nothing about platform specific encryption modules.

Re:What's the difference? (5, Informative)

blackiner (2787381) | about a year ago | (#43695007)

http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/WD-encrypted-media-20130510/#introduction [w3.org]

Pretty much everything in the picture is standardized and can be implemented by any browser, but the Content Decryption Module (CDM) can be anything, and is selected by keySystem from the DOM data. There is a single reference system that merely decrypts blocks of the stream. But you can pretty much just dump the decrypted blocks into a file. I'm sure all this will really accomplish is requiring people to download proprietary CDMs, or only allow browsers that ship with them like IE or Chrome to play content. This is a shit solution.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43695089)

The article was about implementing a DRM standard into HTML5. As far as I can tell, there was nothing about platform specific encryption modules.

either they're closed and the system that shows them is closed or it's not drm.

whippi doo.

Re:What's the difference? (5, Insightful)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#43695035)

Exactly. I won't be able to see restricted media on my system anyway. Because DRM - digital restrictions management - don't work without locking you out. It doesn't matter if it's an "open standard" or not. And, as noted in the article, this HTML5 thingy doesn't even provide an open standard for DRM. It provides hooks. That's it. The DRM will still be closed, will still not be a standard, and will still probably not run on open systems (most desktop Linux).

And the W3C should have taken the pragmatic approach and said, "we don't want DRM to be associated with us, as it will tarnish our good name".

This "standard" won't make things any better, because there will still need to be a closed blob to decrypt the restricted media. Whether it's viewable via a web browser, or not, is irrelevant.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year ago | (#43695185)

The W3C is not concerned with free software. It's concerned with standardizing browser features so that the same web page will work the same in IE as it does in Firefox as it does in Chrome as it does in whatever other browser somebody made that conforms to the standard. The W3C would like to see that everything done on the internet is implemented in the web browser, including any proprietary code necessary to render a web site (such as minified JavaScript). The W3C specifically opposes the kind of Internet we had when lots of web sites used Microsoft-owned patent-encumbered ActiveX in IE5 because it had all the features they needed.

Re:What's the difference? (4, Insightful)

blackiner (2787381) | about a year ago | (#43695271)

And now they have paved the way for allowing only Microsoft and Google owned and patent encumbered DRM schemes. What progress.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695333)

The W3C is not concerned with free software. It's concerned with standardizing browser features so that the same web page will work the same in IE as it does in Firefox as it does in Chrome as it does in whatever other browser somebody made that conforms to the standard. The W3C would like to see that everything done on the internet is implemented in the web browser, including any proprietary code necessary to render a web site (such as minified JavaScript). The W3C specifically opposes the kind of Internet we had when lots of web sites used Microsoft-owned patent-encumbered ActiveX in IE5 because it had all the features they needed.

And now we will have a web dominated by tens of CDMs for every website in existence. And don't believe for a moment that the CDMs are static. Every once in a while you will have to get updated CDMs (for your benefit obviously) or no more content for you. And when an update suddenly eliminates support for the platform you're using ? Don't think that will happen ? How innocent you are.
The W3C with this incredibly stupid decision has opened up pandora's box. If you thought the web was broken in the IE6 days you've seen nothing at all. What's coming down the road is 10 times as worse.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#43695487)

How will this be different with EME?

With EME now you have ActiveX build in the Web. And a web browser will not be standard compliant if it can't access ActiveX.
(replace ActiveX with the Content Decryption Module (CDM) of EME).

Because all what EME is doing is to standardize an API to access those CDMs (aka proprietary binary blobs, Microsoft-owned patent-encumbered blobs).

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695657)

The W3C would like to see that everything done on the internet is implemented in the web browser, including any proprietary code necessary to render a web site (such as minified JavaScript).

I'm sure they would!

The W3C specifically opposes the kind of Internet we had when lots of web sites used Microsoft-owned patent-encumbered ActiveX in IE5 because it had all the features they needed.

And what, pray tell, is the practical difference between a binary/closed CDM that runs content in a W3C-approved fashion, and what you just described?

From the end user's point of view, it's still running platform-specific user-hostile code that's indistinguishable from malware. That this specific means by which a web browser can be coaxed into running user-hostile code happens to be one in which the W3C still feels relevant may be great for the W3C, but I see no benefit to the end user.

My hardware, my software, my system, my rules. Not MAFIAA's rules. And if W3C prefers to be "relevant" to MAFIAA than to "me", then not W3C's rules either.

If that means everyone needs to write "apps" instead of "for the web", that's a good thing. Apps suck, that's the point. The sooner MAFIAA figures that out, is the sooner we can have real video (not RealVideo(tm)) on the web. You can have iTunes, or you can have a web store that sells unencumbered MP3s. W3C is taking us down the iTunes road: if browsers natively supported DRM for music, MP3-based music stores would never have existed, because you'd just use Amazon's CDM, eMusic's CDM, etc... "through the web". Fuck. That. Noise.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year ago | (#43695119)

Neither can be used on a free platform, so what's the difference? How are platform specific encryption modules any better than platform specific native apps?

The point is that it's not any worse. Platform-specific decryption modules may not be any better than native apps if you want everything you use to be open-source, but they have the practical advantage that if you don't need Flash or Silverlight to decrypt it anymore, you can just use a web browser. The interface is consistent and cheaper to build than having to make a native app for every platform instead of just recompiling the decryption module.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695211)

Cheaper for the likes of netflix... it's not fucking cheaper for me.

DRM in the browser requires A CLOSED SOURCE browser or it doesn't work - otherwise the browser can simply redirect the output stripping off the DRM.

So no.. it's a lot fucking worse. Why should we standardise their breakage? If they want DRM... let THEM carry the costs and problems.

Re:What's the difference? (1, Interesting)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year ago | (#43695255)

It's about choice. If the web does not have DRM then consumers can only use services like Netflix where Netflix deigns to create an app (plug-ins are on their way out). That will generally be the few dominant platforms.

If DRM is a standardized part of the web then anyone with a standards compliant browser can access those services. This isn't guaranteed - there are various ways that Netflix (etc.) could still stop that from happening, but their support of this standard suggests that they actually want me to be able to use their service on my Playbook.

I want the choice to be able to stray beyond the dominant platforms and still use Netflix.

Re:What's the difference? (4, Informative)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#43695539)

If the web does not have DRM then consumers can only use services like Netflix where Netflix deigns to create an app (plug-ins are on their way out).

But what is being proposed, is identical to that. Consumers will only be able to use services like Netflix where Netflix deigns to create an implementation of their proprietary EME plugin.

If DRM is a standardized part of the web then anyone with a standards compliant browser can access those services.

This is where the confusion lies. Nobody is suggesting making DRM itself a standardized part of the web; you're rooting for a side which isn't in the fight. They're talking about making a non-standard DRM component (something just as unportable as Flash and Silverlight, and subject to its ONE CREATOR'S whims) have standard API for the browser to use. This is a tiny little issue; Flash already used a defacto-standard API for the browser to inferface with. Such a defacto interface isn't maybe as good as a well-described one, so you could see this new API as a minor step forward, but it comes with the cost of legitimizing and endorsing something which is just completely ridiculous.

I want the choice to be able to stray beyond the dominant platforms and still use Netflix.

That is not being offered by this HTML5 compromise, and it won't get you closer to that. If Netflix, as the one and only party in the world who will have the closed trade secret to make the Netflix decrypter, should decide to ever see fit to allow the specific non-dominant platform that you're thinking of, to join the list of platforms they support by making a Netflix plugin for it, they're just as likely to decide to allow an app on that platform.

Allowing you to watch Netflix, is not something that is being standardized. That aspect would remain as closed as Flash's DRM. This is how all DRM must always be. The only way Netflix can ever be standardized such that you will be permitted to use it on a device of your choosing, is if they drop the DRM.

Or if they were to standardize the DRM itself, I suppose that would work. But they wouldn't want to do that, since the whole point of DRM is to keep people from implementing it! :-)

Re:What's the difference? (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43695613)

It's about choice. If the web does not have DRM then consumers can only use services like Netflix where Netflix deigns to create an app (plug-ins are on their way out). That will generally be the few dominant platforms.

It will be the same with this, because instead of having to compile their app for a platform they'll have to compile their EME module.

If DRM is a standardized part of the web then anyone with a standards compliant browser can access those services.

Unless they're on an unsupported platform.

their support of this standard suggests that they actually want me to be able to use their service on my Playbook.

I suspect you won't get Netflix on your Playbook unless Blackberry negotiates a licensing agreement with Netflix for their EME module.

I want the choice to be able to stray beyond the dominant platforms and still use Netflix.

And I sincerely doubt you will. This is about taking control, not granting you choice.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695735)

I don't want for the W3C to make it easy for ***holes to treat me as a criminal, while screwing over legal use, and ensuring that only 'damaged goods' fall into the public domain at the end of the copyright period. Because that is EXACTLY what DRM does.

Re:What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695485)

You will not be able to view their content but only that aspect of it. You would still be able to view the rest of the site. Some sites will be only protected content but many will be a mix and some may have only a few protected items. Incorporating DRM into the standard will make it more likely that companies will create web-based solutions instead of app-based solutions.

Personally I would not want to have apps. They are a pain to manage, they need to be updated and they are platform specific. It may run on a device I have now but not the next one I have. I run a much better chance of having an HTML5 page working on current and new devices.

DRM is a royal pain and detrimental to all in the long run. That includes the providers but they rarely look at it in the short term. They also have to answer to others with their own agenda. Keeping it out of HTML5 also makes no sense in the long run either.

Betteridge's law of headlines (2, Interesting)

twocows (1216842) | about a year ago | (#43694911)

No.

Re:Betteridge's law of headlines (0)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year ago | (#43695215)

Betteridge's law does not apply in every situation. It applies to headlines questioning whether a factual statement is true or false, i.e. "Is Obama really a Muslim?" (obviously not, or else the headline would be "Obama is Really a Muslim"). It does not apply to headlines questioning values like "Obama's Faith - Does it Really Matter?" (if the headline answered that question, why would anyone read the article?)

Time to fork W3C (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694913)

It would be nice to have a grass roots standards body which impletments the good works of standards bodies but chooses not to implement shill standards. Then grass roots software development can choose to use these standards rather than give in to the corruption of the standards process.

Re:Time to fork W3C (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694979)

I have very mixed feelings about this decision from the W3C, but we've seen what happens when people go about things around them. Look at the nightmare that is HTML5. This idea that we don't needs static standards or well formed markup is insane.

That said, I think we need members in critical working groups that represent the people's interest rather than Microsoft and Google.

Re:Time to fork W3C (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#43695075)

HTML5 was already formed as the result of a fork of the W3C called the WHATWG.

Re:Time to fork W3C (1, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year ago | (#43695275)

Translation - the standards bodies should do what I want and listen to to one else. What I want is more more important than what anyone else wants.

Re:Time to fork W3C (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43695623)

They seem intent on listening to a very, very tiny base when it comes to ramming EME through. Apparently what Hollywood wants is more important than what anyone else wants.

Re:Time to fork W3C (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year ago | (#43695823)

No really, because having EME available and *you* as a developer not using them is exactly the same as EME not being standardised and *you* not using them.

The addition of EME to the spec in no way changes your position, whereas the lack of addition to the spec does affect another developers position. Not including EME negatively affects other developers who want to use it, while including EME doesn't affect other developers who don't want to use it.

If you cannot see the difference between those positions, then you need to ask yourself why.

Re:Time to fork W3C (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#43695371)

It would be nice to have a grass roots standards body which impletments the good works of standards bodies but chooses not to implement shill standards.

Now all you need is a product with mass market appeal and shelf space at Walmart which implements the geek's "grass roots" standards --- but can't play the Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or Google subscription video. Nothing Disney, Pixar or Marvel Comics.

No Downton Abbey, no Game of Thrones.

Oh the horror! (5, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43694917)

There would be content on the internet that is not on the web? Oh the horror! </sarcasm>

Seriously, I want them to provide their own programs for DRM-protected stuff. That stuff just doesn't belong on the web. After all, even if it were made with HTML5+DRM and accessed through web browsers, it would still not really be part of the web, because I could not just fire up any web browser and watch it; I'd first have to install their proprietary DRM. So what is the big difference, if I have to install some proprietary code anyway? If it's a separate program, I'll at least know up front that it's not part of the web.

Also, in my experience, native programs tend to have the better interfaces anyway.

Re:Oh the horror! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695101)

It's always the same bullshit. Make it easy for us by making your lives harder.

It's long past the point where everyone should be telling the content barons to eat shit and die.

The rest of the world generates masses of traffic, money and innovation - far more than the thugs in the content industry.

Yet all we ever hear about is how everyone else should dance to the entertainment industry's tune.

Re:Oh the horror! (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | about a year ago | (#43695227)

Why doesn't DRM-protected stuff belong on the web? I dare you to answer my question without resorting to meaningless tautologies (such as 'DRM stuff doesnt belong on the web because that's not what the web is!').

Re:Oh the horror! (2)

Motor (104119) | about a year ago | (#43695267)

You can put what you want on the web.

But why do you expect everyone else to pay the technical cost of it (the DRM infrastructure, lock in and lack of choice and innovation)?

If you want DRM... then you maintain your own infrastructure and the associated costs.

Re:Oh the horror! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695329)

Why DOES DRM-protected stuff belong on the web? I dare you to answer my question without resorting to meaningless tautologies (such as 'DRM stuff belongs on the web because that's what the web is!').

Re:Oh the horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695729)

Because some people want it there.

Your turn.

And before you answer with another clever response like "because some people don't want it there," keep in mind that statement is true of a lot web content. Does that really mean it doesn't belong there?

Re:Oh the horror! (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year ago | (#43695751)

Without getting into philosophical arguments about the ethics of it, content-creators have a vested interest in wanting to preserve distribution rights for the product they are making. We can argue until we run out of breath about whether DRM is the right way for them to do it, about its technical limitations, etc., but the fact is that nobody has provided them with an alternative to DRM that they like, and we simply can't force them to adopt what we want them to do. To do so would be to run counter to the free speech argument that most people hold up as the reason they're opposed to DRM in the first place: they have a right to speak or not speak in whichever way they want.

Given that there's no way they're giving up on DRM in the current climate, we're left with another question: should that content be on the web or not? That's a question that you, the consumer, need to decide. Personally, I like Netflix, I subscribe to it, and I'm happy to pay for it, despite its being encumbered with DRM. I find i get good value from their service. To me, yes, they do belong on the web, and as long as there's consumers like me who believe that they should be allowed to pay their money for such a service, that service belongs on the web regardless of your individual ideology.

Now given the choice between an ecosystem where everybody has their proprietary apps and one where everybody uses the same app, I would happily take the second one. While the first method works fine for my Android phone, that's because Android has enough market penetration to actually be worth targetting. It's still a platform where not everybody has made the switch, but it's big enough that people are noticing it. The same cannot be said for my Linux-based laptop.

And that leaves me with a choice, as far as the laptop is concerned: I can give up on watching content like this on the laptop (not really an option), I can install Windows (which would require paying extra: the laptop came with Linux preinstalled and no license for Windows), or I can decide that allowing DRM into the web standard isn't that bad an idea, because it means a standard API for accessing the content and I don't have to worry about whether the provider will get around to building a specific client for my laptop.

I'd *like* it to be DRM-free, and some content is DRM-free (sites like youtube or blip.tv for example), I also recognize that there's content which isn't free that I want to be able to use. If you don't want it to have DRM, then I'll refer you back to my first paragraph, where you'll find the answer to how to get them to stop using it: give them something else that they like more.

We're about to find out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694931)

if something can be simultaneously good the "the web" and bad for users of the web.
If you think you have to stunt a free and open platform in order to save it, you're doing it wrong.

it should be standard (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694937)

There's an increasing amount of content that you can't view without DRM support, and people want to view this content. This should be enabled in the HTML standard, even if the plugins have to be platform specific.

It's only going more in this direction in the future. I have a cousin who works for a major news agency to remain unnamed here, and there is a movement afoot in the news world to investigate DRM for protecting online news content. There is a realization that they cannot keep giving it away forever. There have been a few initial experiments with paywalls on some news sites, but not DRM per se. DRM is a big thing now though in terms of what is wanted going forward. So either this can use the Web, or as TFA says, it will move off the web entirely.

Either the Web has to keep up, or it will become less and less relevant to modern computing. Not overnight of course, but times change. At one point, if you told people the Web would supplant Gopher, they just laughed.

Re:it should be standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694971)

Dude, apps are already well on the way to replacing the web. It isn't some hypothetical future, it's happening right now in front of your eyes

Re:it should be standard (1, Troll)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43695025)

It will continue to happen whether there is an open standard or not. Look what Apple did with XMPP and SIP, making FaceTime and iMessage by adding proprietary extensions. It's bad for everyone who isn't a major corporation, and certainly very bad for 'consumers'..

Money talks, few walk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43694947)

The W3C saw the writing on the wall: add DRM compatibility to HTML5 or watch it become irrelevant as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and the other big players form their own consortium and go to work on the next iteration of the web.

I'm reminded of the Boston Marathon, which flew the banner of amateur athletics into the 1980's and was a holdout in refusing to offer prize money or appearance fees, other than transportation and lodging expenses. The elite runners abandoned Boston in favor of other races that did offer money, and in 1985 there was exactly one elite runner on the men's side. Geoff Smith, the previous year's winner, started off the race a blistering pace and looked like he was going to obliterate the course record. No other runners were in sight of him. Then at mile 19 or 20 he cramped up, and soon he started walking. The funny thing is that he not only won the race that year, but the second place finisher (an amateur runner from Southern Cal.) finished a couple minutes behind him. As Smith walked the finish line he shrugged, as if to say, "yeah I shouldn't have won, but what was I supposed to do?"

The brass got the message. The next year, prize money was offered and the elite runners were back.

DRM should not be standardized (2)

mounthood (993037) | about a year ago | (#43694953)

Maybe this will help:
1. Open and Standardized is good.
2. DRM is not Open. (This is simply its nature.)
3. DRM can be Standardized with HTML5 extensions.

The problem is confusing point one with the FOSS attitude of wanting systems that are open. Standardization is not advocated by any open source group or in any open license. Standardization is an artifact commonly associated with free/open systems, but it's presence doesn't mean the system is free or open.

Re:DRM should not be standardized (2)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year ago | (#43695369)

Standardization, not openness, is the primary goal of the W3C.

Re:DRM should not be standardized (4, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#43695431)

EME is not a standard of DRM. EME is a standard to access DRM via API. That is a very big difference.
_If_ EME would be a standard of DRM, then anyone could implement the DRM and see the videos.

But EME just make the API standard do access DRM to decrypt the content. DRM can not be standardized, it's the very nature of DRM.

Re:DRM should not be standardized (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695647)

Completely wrong on #2. DRM can be implemented with open code. Perhaps you need to learn a little about cryptography and key exchanges? Just because some companies chose to use proprietary methods doesn't mean locking content can't be done with 100% source code available. It's all in the keys.

This is retarded. (1)

jason777 (557591) | about a year ago | (#43694955)

Have they not learned that DRM only hurts the honest people? The pirates will get their crappy content anyways. Just use normal regular video, and trust people. You will get a lot more profits in the long run.

Re:This is retarded. (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43695095)

Have they not learned that DRM only hurts the honest people? The pirates will get their crappy content anyways.

This is a false dichotomy. Whilst there are people that only ever use legally acquired stuff at one end of the scale, and people that always pirate non-free stuff at the other end, the vast majority lie in the middle of those extremes, pirating if it's easy and the result is good enough for them, buying when that's easier, or has the quality they require and is within their budget.

DRM doesn't come free for the industry. It would be cheaper to ship without DRM than with. The areas where DRM doesn't help the media industry's bottom line, such as songs, has already been abandoned. Areas where they keep investing in DRM, they do so because it works well enough to raise their bottom line vs not doing it.

If it didn't work, they wouldn't put money into it.

Re:This is retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695405)

They can't just magically know the DRM is actually helping where it's still used. They would have to try some content without it first and see what happens.

Re:This is retarded. (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43695501)

If it didn't work, they wouldn't put money into it.

If only this were true. I point you, for the most recent and egregious example, to Windows 8.

Re:This is retarded. (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43695513)

hey do so because they think it works well enough to raise their bottom line vs not doing it.

FTFY. DRM has not actually been proven to work in any situation. There is only supposition and failures like PlaysForSure and pains in the ass like HDCP.

I suspect the TV/Movie groups are still pissing themselves just like they did back when the VCR, that industry destroying invention, first appeared and ruined them. Oh wait...

Re:This is retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695685)

The areas where DRM doesn't help the media industry's bottom line, such as songs, has already been abandoned.

Well guess what, they still tried it. While people were discovering the convenience of having limitless DRM free music available with a search and a click, the visionaries in the music industry were hard at work adding root kits to music CDs.

Any argument resting on the intelligence and business smarts of the people calling the shots in the content industry is inherently worthless.

Without explicitly saying it... (1, Insightful)

Thomas Dalbo (2840609) | about a year ago | (#43694991)

This push is because of Netflix. Now that they have to dump Silverlight, it's understandable that they wouldn't want to invest into a Flash-like solution just to have it happen again. Which means I'll *finally* get Netflix on Linux. I see this as a win for everyone but RMS.

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695059)

Which means I'll *finally* get Netflix on Linux

How do you know? You'll require a CDM for your browser on Linux (CDMs are binary blobs). What's to say that Netflix wont choose an encryption scheme that has a Microsoft Windows only CDM?

The entire argument about "HTML5 with DRM" v's "Proprietary in-browser apps" is pointless: the way that CRMs are implemented means the distinction is utterly meaningless.

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43695131)

What's to say that Netflix wont choose an encryption scheme that has a Microsoft Windows only CDM?

Because they wouldn't want to lose their existing Mac users. If their existing solution was based on Silverlight, that would explain why access was limited to just Windows and Mac. Microsoft's limitation, not Netflix's.

Given an open solution such as this, Netflix gets a better choice as to what platforms they support. And if they judge they'll get enough business from Linux users to make it worth their while, then they'll surely support it.

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (2)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year ago | (#43695409)

What's to say that Netflix wont choose an encryption scheme that has a Microsoft Windows only CDM?

The W3C is giving Netflix the opportunity to choose a cross-platform CDM where before they could only support platforms that Microsoft had "blessed" with Silverlight. Why would they did pick a Windows-only scheme if there's no advantage to that over Silverlight? Worst case, things stay the same. Big whoop.

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43695645)

The W3C is giving Netflix the opportunity to choose a cross-platform CDM

So it'll be cross platform, but only to platforms Netflix approves of.

Worst case, things stay the same.

I expect things to stay the same. Only now we'll have more CDMs than plugins, and more attack vectors to be concerned about.

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695067)

No, you won't get netflix on linux. The odds of anyone writing a CDM for linux seem vanishingly small to me :-P

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (1)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year ago | (#43695511)

Like the odds of anyone writing a closed-source graphics driver for Linux?

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#43695839)

is it even possible?

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695127)

Which means I'll *finally* get Netflix on Linux.

Umm... no, you won't.

Re:Without explicitly saying it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695179)

This push is because of Netflix. Now that they have to dump Silverlight, it's understandable that they wouldn't want to invest into a Flash-like solution just to have it happen again.

Which means I'll *finally* get Netflix on Linux. I see this as a win for everyone but RMS.

You're a fucking idiot. You'll never get to see Netflix on linux because while the "drm interface" may be standardised across different platforms, the implementation is not. The implementation is platform specific. In other terms, Netflix will use an implementation that is compatible with windows, os x (not so sure) since it doesn't implement protect-path and obviously not linux.
You'll get fucked, and by necessity you'll need to go to usenet or some torrent site to get the content (until governemnts decide to nuke any kind of p2p communication on the web and transform it into the 21st century tv). We're already halfway there with this stupid W3c decision.

If they want false comfort, let them have it (2)

thoth_amon (560574) | about a year ago | (#43695005)

The central problem with DRM is that it stops only honest people. Anything that is located entirely on the user's computer in obfuscated form and plays from there can be cracked, and crackers will crack it, whereupon the cracked goods will quickly find themselves on BitTorrent and other sharing networks.

The thing is, competing with free isn't that hard. If you offer high-quality goods for a reasonable price, using an open format, at a convenient location, customers will buy from you. How did Tower Records thrive for so many years when recording tape-to-tape or record-to-tape was so easy? Or, for a modern example, look at Tor books [arstechnica.com] , which has un-DRMed its books. They say the sky isn't falling. This transition has already largely completed in the realm of technical books at companies like O'Reilly, Manning, Apress, and others.

DRM is an endless and futile game for content creators, and an annoyance to customers. I doubt in the end that any DRM standard we settle upon will be sufficient for most publishers for many reasons, ranging from capabilities to safety, and in the end those publishers who are really serious about DRM will go with proprietary plugins anyway (and will find that those don't work very well either).

Article is full of it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695017)

The author of this article is full of it. DRM should have no place in HTML.

People should simply ignore and shun vendors who insist on DRM, period. When vendors realize that DRM is costing them money and lots of it, instead of making them money, then they will get the message and release their products without DRM.

Re:Article is full of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695143)

People should simply ignore and shun vendors who insist on DRM, period.

Why should they do that? People want to watch movies and see DRM protected content.

News flash: most ppl of the world are not driven by your ideology.

Live and let live. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695033)

Some people are going to want to use DRM for there product, let them. Part of being open is being accepting, eventually they'll realize it was never a good idea and they will grow. Forcing wisdom on the unwilling never goes down well, ie: the USSR.

I'm okay with that... (1)

Jarmihi (2589777) | about a year ago | (#43695061)

I'm okay with that. Get them off of the Web! If the money-grabbers leave, the Internet might revert to its natural, free, anything goes state it enjoyed in the nineties.

Re:I'm okay with that... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43695173)

Be careful what you wish for. Here's some typical 90s style web sites.

http://www.dokimos.org/ajff/ [dokimos.org]
http://www.partytentcity.com/ [partytentcity.com]
http://www.dpgraph.com/ [dpgraph.com]

Re:I'm okay with that... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43695547)

Here's another:

http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/index.html [catb.org]

It's a thing with a huge amount of content, in a pleasant, elegant, and readable form. Yes, it's mostly just plaintext. So?

The modern equivalent I think is reddit, which is similarly barebones -- just a bunch of text, and people writing text in response to text -- but it clearly works.

DRM in HTML is not better (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695083)

"A browser like Mozilla is *legally prevented* from actually implementing DRM, because they have to reveal all their code, including the decryption code that contains the secrets you use to decrypt," said Google Chrome team member Tab Atkins Jr., in a reply to the mailing list discussion.

"The proposal comes from authors at Google, Microsoft and Netflix, companies that stand to profit from the union of HTML5 and DRM ... *Netflix* responded that this particular component of a browser would *have to be implemented as closed source*" (emphasis added)

It could work....if they call up valve (1)

bullocp913 (2920953) | about a year ago | (#43695099)

This could be a major factor in businesses opening up to the internet instead of writing it off because of potentially lost intellectual property. This does not mean that I am totally for DRM, but instead of just saying no why not try to influence the outcome in a positive way. DRM has been proven to be pretty successful when implemented in the right such as with valve, which is the least intrusive DRM implementation I can think of. Look at what that has done, an entire community where everybody feels as if they can submit something and make some money, which is businesses main concern.

What's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695109)

What's the difference between a closed-source plugin (what we have now) and a closed-source CDM (what the Editor's Draft) describes?

I can't see any practical improvement here at all. Does this thing help anyone?

You're wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695113)

Deprived of the ability to use browser plugins, protected content distributors are not, in general, switching to unprotected media. Instead, they're switching away from the Web entirely.

This is not an argument for adding DRM to HTML. It is important that someone who wants DRM can't use the web. By adding DRM to HTML, you remove the competitive advantage from someone who doesn't use DRM. That will cause more content owners to use DRM, which is WHAT WE DO NOT WANT!

Moral defeat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695141)

If it would have been a "moral victory" to keep the standard out of W3C, and it was included anyway, does that make W3C inherently immoral?

Re:Moral defeat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695241)

If it would have been a "moral victory" to keep the standard out of W3C, and it was included anyway, does that make W3C inherently immoral?

It does make it a whore to Microsoft's, Google's and Netflix's interests.

So what's wrong? (2)

rbprbp (2731083) | about a year ago | (#43695189)

"Deprived of the ability to use browser plugins, protected content distributors are not, in general, switching to unprotected media. Instead, they're switching away from the Web entirely. "
So what is wrong with this, exactly? If you want to distribute DRMed content, you are fully free to use your own means. Let the web stay DRM-free, as it should be.

Reality intrudes. (2)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#43695225)

The reality is that every Internet enabled device in your home or car supports subscription services and protected media content. Each to some degree pushes the "open web" browser further into the background.

The Windows 8 Start Page makes that explicit.

If the app becomes your primary source for music, videos, books, newspapers, magazines and games, it isn't much of a stretch to imagine the app becoming your primary source for other content and services as well.

Are they switching away from the Web? (1)

Exitar (809068) | about a year ago | (#43695257)

And I will switch away from them.

I'm not too bothered by DRM in HTML5 (1)

tangent3 (449222) | about a year ago | (#43695261)

I hate DRM like everyone here, but I would rather have the choice to purchase DRMed content than to be completely locked out just because I am not on the 'preferred platform'.

Hopefully DRM will die a natural death from people voting with their wallets when there are alternatives. In that case the act of having HTML5 DRM just gives DRM more rope to hang itself with.

Re:I'm not too bothered by DRM in HTML5 (2)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year ago | (#43695537)

You'll still be locked out, because the proposal involves proprietary binary blobs that perform the actual decryption, which won't exist for your platform.

The only "standard" part is the browser hooks for those modules to plug into.

Re:I'm not too bothered by DRM in HTML5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695789)

Could you please explain why it's necessarily true that these proprietary binary blobs won't exist for certain platforms? What prevents a proprietary blob from being created for certain platforms?

Not trying to claim you're wrong... It's just I keep seeing this stated without explanation, and would like to better understand.

Thanks!

It won't work! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#43695265)

I'm an old fart who got his first computer in the seventies.
There were always content protection, copy protection and whatnot.
And they never worked.
This won't either.

DRM is a error (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695269)

DRM is a "disfeature" a error, a bug, and bugs are naturally fixed. DRM is like giving some people a car, with the speed meter locked so he can go faster than 40KM/h, the owner of the car will __fix__ the error, and unlock it. But DRM in some countries will turn this act in a crime. Adding DRM in HTML would make fixing your computer a crime.

W3C Proves They Are Unfit to Steward the Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695303)

EME does not belong in the web (that should be obvious since EME is by its very definition is not open while the web by very definition must be open). Google and Microsoft are still free to work together and implement EME in Chrome and IE, but it did not belong anywhere near the W3C. Since the W3C has embraced EME, they are rejecting the very foundational principles of the web and thus W3C must be shunned from the web. Death to W3C! Long live WHATWG?!

No (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43695383)

The alternative being a system where open standards should support our freedom rather than bow to a selection of equally oppressive options? No, it's not better than the alternative.

Why I want it to NOT work on Linux (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#43695429)

If protected content works on Linux, then I can't use the argument that the content providers do not care about the Linux market and its revenues. Then I won't have an excuse for stealing the content and saying that they aren't losing any money from my theft.

Reality is, I don't care. The vast majority of commercial content is crap, anyway. It's not even worth stealing. I just like arguing against whiny CEOs who want everything to be done for them.

Flawed Logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695457)

Well by that logic, why don't we just put every single DRM scheme into linux!

Standards are better (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43695479)

Nobody likes DRM. But we've got plenty of experience with DRM provided as part of proprietary software packages.

It reeks badly. You get root kits, various spy features, ads, you name it.

If I'm going to have DRM in order to get online delivery of media I sure as the dickens would rather have as part of an open source product that is subject to code review rather than the alternative.

Would you rather... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695515)

You have the choice of getting a blowjob from Natalie Portaman or any one of these alternatives...

a) getting fucked in the ass by Mickey Rourke
b) getting fucked in the mouth by Nick Notle
c) being strung up by your dick while someone punches your balls

So, is it better than the alternative?

p.s. weird-ass fetishists need not apply.

Somebody please top W3C (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about a year ago | (#43695519)

DRM, Flash and JAVA should GTFO of HTML
Flash and JAVA probably crashes about a billion times a day (seems like half of the time on my system alone). They are full of security holes. There is no need for that.
W3C should care about making HTML stable and reliable. Try to get WebGL and Web Audio into play instead of DRM.
If DRM becomes part of HTML, HTML will stop being a world wide open standard as it is today. DRM advocates will only mess with HTML until it breaks.
DRM is for propriatary systems only. As an open standard HTML can never be proprietary.
Someone is messing with HTML because they need / want it. GTFO!
Maybe W3C needs more funding, so much that they are willing to sell out to the DRM industry.
If that is the case (i'm guessing it is) then we need a new standards body for HTML standard governance.
Web streaming will hopefully always be off limits to the DRM industry. The web is a lot more than just entertainment business. It's how we all do business.
Try to mess with that.
W3C: when you have come to your senses, would you please get rid of "display:table", "display:table-row", "display:table-cell" etc from css?
Thanks.

One Word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695585)

No.

HELLO! DRM *doesn't work* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695587)

Forget the moral argument (even though it is completely valid!).

DRM simply *doesn't work*. Making it a standard won't make it work. Blessing from content industries won't make it work. Calling it "HTML5" won't make it work.

As long as there is a `mov eax, ebx` (or equivalent) instruction in a computer, DRM will not work. Unfortunately (for the content industry), this instruction is required to make a universal computer.

Once you have a universal computer, you CANNOT restrict "valid" computations from "invalid" computations. Universality doesn't work like that.

This is a mathematical *truth*. Not an opinion. Not a matter of humans getting together and deciding. This is the equivalent of squaring the circle -- except now another organization has decided to "standardize" squaring a circle methods, so that they can ship circle-squaring binary blobs around.

Hollyweb (1)

MacDork (560499) | about a year ago | (#43695603)

Fuck. You.

What I wish Tim Berners Lee^W^W^W W3C understood about DRM. [guardian.co.uk]

Patent licences are administered by a licensing authority (LA), which creates a standard set of terms for licensing. These terms always include a list of features that the manufacturers may not implement (for example, you may not add a "save to hard drive" feature to a DVD player)

How long do you think we have until the back button and close window button are disabled for video ads online?

This will not make the Intenet any better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43695627)

As the article states:
"EME does not specify any DRM scheme per se. Rather, it defines a set of APIs that allow JavaScript and HTML to interact with decryption/protection modules. These modules will tend to be platform-specific in one way or another and will contain the core DRM technology."
So no DRM for Linux and therefore no Netflix for Linux. At least not on any open source browser (Chrome != Chromium).

I Don't Have A Problem with DRM in HTML 5 Standard (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | about a year ago | (#43695847)

I don't have a problem with DRM in HTML 5 Standards, as long as there is also a way to effectively and automatically set one's browser to ignore and not display any DRM content or mechanisms seeking payment for seeing that content. If people want to encrypt their data and not let me see it that's fine with me as long as they don't force me to spend any time what so ever otherwise using the remaining HTML 5 content or navigating around intrusive DRM content.

DRM content, out of sight, out of mind. Otherwise, I'm going to be force to watch and navigate around all sort of commercials and advertisements for stuff I have no interest in paying for.

If DRM content is to be managed within HTML there needs to be seemless standards that make it entire invisible to people who don't want to be bothered by it, when viewing other non-DRM content. Otherwise, this stuff will rapidly make the rest of the web useless as you waste time just trying to figure out how to avoid it.

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