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Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Approve Work On DRM For HTML 5.1

timothy posted about a year ago | from the concentrated-benefit-diffuse-harm dept.

The Internet 307

An anonymous reader writes "Danny O'Brien from the EFF has a weblog post about how the Encrypted Media Extension (EME) proposal will continue to be part of HTML Work Group's bailiwick and may make it into a future HTML revision." From O'Brien's post: "A Web where you cannot cut and paste text; where your browser can't 'Save As...' an image; where the 'allowed' uses of saved files are monitored beyond the browser; where JavaScript is sealed away in opaque tombs; and maybe even where we can no longer effectively 'View Source' on some sites, is a very different Web from the one we have today. It's a Web where user agents—browsers—must navigate a nest of enforced duties every time they visit a page. It's a place where the next Tim Berners-Lee or Mozilla, if they were building a new browser from scratch, couldn't just look up the details of all the 'Web' technologies. They'd have to negotiate and sign compliance agreements with a raft of DRM providers just to be fully standards-compliant and interoperable."

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Open source browsers? (4, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year ago | (#45025977)

How does this affect open source browsers like Firefox? If something is open source you surely can't enforce any sort of DRM restrictions; someone can just build a hacked version of the browser.

Is this possibly the beginning of the end for open source browsers?

Why in the hell are they even THINKING of approving this bullshit?

Re:Open source browsers? (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#45026041)

Yes, DRM in-browser is laughable. There is no way to protect the keys, unless my admittedly shallow encryption background is flawed somehow.

Re:Open source browsers? (4, Insightful)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026119)

If it's so laughable, then isn't it better to just have it? So instead of a world where content owners won't publish jack on HTML5 (you read that right, content owners of the content you're willing to pay for will never publish on HTML5 unless they have some sort of DRM), you get a world where content owners would and you can somehow mine the keys. I don't see how this is any worse.

Re:Open source browsers? (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#45026259)

I don't really care whether they publish or not - if there is one thing the internet does not lack it is content.

Re:Open source browsers? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026425)

Then why do I keep ending up here on Slashdot out of boredom?

Re:Open source browsers? (3, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#45026603)

Because you don't know the latest address of ThePirateBay?

Re:Open source browsers? (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#45026283)

...content owners of the content you're willing to pay for will never publish on HTML5 unless they have some sort of DRM

Who cares? Fuck 'em. There are plenty of people who will publish without all that crap, and we can just stick with them. Besides, DRM is easy to crack, a snake oil sold by scammers. I have no sympathy for those stupid enough to buy it.

Re:Open source browsers? (3)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026343)

That's a fine way to think about it. But if you don't want it, doesn't mean others don't want it. And if you think it's so easy to crack, then why do you care? Just let the content owners have that false sense of security if you think it's so easy to crack.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

NickFortune (613926) | about a year ago | (#45026755)

Hey, I know. Since our neighbouring country hasn't much hope of conquoring us, why not let them amass all their tanks on our borders?

I mean they'll never have the nerve to invade, and we can sneak over the border at night and syphon off all the petrol.

Doesn't seem like sound strategy to me

Re:Open source browsers? (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45026499)

The reason to care is that they will publish, just not using HTML5, making yet another "if only people followed it" web standard.

I swear, every time DRM gets mentioned in HTML5 it's like IE6 never happened! Do we have to repeat that sad mistake? The point of a standard is to describe a specific way to do what everyone is going to do anyway. A standard that petulantly refuses to describe what the big players are doing anyway is worse than useless. The W3C finally learned this lesson, but apparently /. has a shorter memory.

Re:Open source browsers? (5, Interesting)

Ralph Ostrander (2846785) | about a year ago | (#45026339)

I want an internet for me not them, If they dont like it here dont come. live by the open rules or stay home. I am happy with that. The net was here and was better before it became a giant for sale god damn sign.

Re:Open source browsers? (2)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026419)

And they want an internet for them, not you. Works both ways.

Put it this way, can you access the private portions of some government website without risk of getting charged with something criminal (assuming you're not a government employee/contractor/etc...)? Is that part open? No. Then why aren't you complaining about it? Oh, that's server-side you say. Then how about Netflix? You have to install Silverlight so they can protect their content (assuming it protects their content). I don't hear you complaining about that either. So what's the difference between you having to install a plug-in vs. it's built right into the browser? The end game is still the same: do you get access to the content or not, not whether this is open or not.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#45026465)

Lest re-phrase that. An Internet for the betterment of society. If they don't like society, then they can GTFO.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026521)

What's betterment for you? Convenience? Exchange of information? Instant access? Collaboration? Reduction in human capital? Something else? Combination of all these benefits? So if EME provides convenience, then doesn't it make society better? Does it degrade other things? Like what? Exchange of information (media)? How so if there wasn't any information being exchanged to begin with (i.e. content owners didn't publish ANYTHING before DRM happened)?

Re:Open source browsers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026455)

I didn't realize that you paid for the pipes to get the web to your home. Fascinating.

Re:Open source browsers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026349)

So instead of a world where content owners won't publish jack on HTML5 (you read that right, content owners of the content you're willing to pay for will never publish on HTML5 unless they have some sort of DRM),

If they don't want to publish their stuff, they don't have to. Just because you want something doesn't mean the owner has to make it available.

Either way, the internet won't be hurting for content. There are plenty of creators that aren't so picky.

Re:Open source browsers? (5, Insightful)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#45026483)

No. Once their foot is in the door they will start demanding signed binary for browsers since anything else is useless to their wants.

MOD PARENT UP (5, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#45026707)

Signed binaries running from a signed kernel, booted on UEFI Secure Boot hardware you can't legally compromise.

Alan Cox explained this [lkml.org] 12 years ago.

That is the dream these people have.

Re:Open source browsers? (5, Interesting)

NickFortune (613926) | about a year ago | (#45026665)

If it's so laughable, then isn't it better to just have it?

Well, the security aspects are laughable. The potential legal follow ons are not. For instance, the next logical step is to insist on digitally signed browsers and declare non-complying browsers illegal as "circumvention tools" under the DMCA or somesuch. You might not be able to detect hack browsers, but you could sure as hell sue anyone distributing binaries or patches. You might have a hard time claiming non-infringing uses as well.

That would pretty much make any new browser impossible to distribute, and potentially puts enough regulatory red-tape on people like mozilla that they'd have difficulty continuing in their current open source form.

Then there's the possibility to pressure ISPs to only allow encrypted content (call it an anti-terrorism measure - that works for most things) and eventually to start chaging for access on a per web-page basis for all content.

From the point of view of some media and content cartels, that's a very desirable outcome. The genie would be back in the bottle.

On the other hand, if we don't have EME then the problems don't arise, so on balance I'd say better not to have it.

So instead of a world where content owners won't publish jack on HTML5

I don't see why that's a problem. There are DRM formats that work with PDFs so it's not as if your content dudes can't publish under DRM. They just can't try and make it apply to the whole web. Nothing of value is being lost here.

you get a world where content owners would and you can somehow mine the keys

Mine the keys illegally I think you mean. Possibly with disproportionate penalties as used by the recording industry in their anti p2p lawsuits.

Let's just not go there. Less effort + less risk == Win

Re:Open source browsers? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45026689)

It's worse because it's an idological loss - DRM has no place where technical competency and/or openness exist - and because it could accelerate the adoption of DRM by providing a standard.

It's also worse because it adds to the complexity of a system for no gain - unless you count the aforementioned DRM standard a gain. I don't, I'd rather have the DRM stay where it belongs, in shitty plugins that have to be installed one user at a time.

Apply it to other "stupid" laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026715)

Laws against teaching creationism in schools are laughable, right? So isn't it just better to have it?

NO.

Re:Open source browsers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026191)

Yes, DRM in-browser is laughable. There is no way to protect the keys, unless my admittedly shallow encryption background is flawed somehow.

Not at all. Most people won't go through the hurdle of building their own copy of e.g. Firefox with the necessary patches.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45026295)

Except no one on the firefox team is going to block an extension called "copy-my-damn-movie" that does reflect the source code.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#45026759)

Unless of course it is illegal to circumvent DRM. Mozilla could get in legal trouble for distributing such extension.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#45026547)

Except the one that does and then posts the results to the Internet thus negating the entire purpose of the DRM to begin with.

Re:Open source browsers? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026051)

The DRM implementation basically allows for binary opaque blobs to be part of the browser. These likely would be separate files bundled with installs, and not in the source. Those may be reverse engineered and replaced with FOSS variants, but that will take time and pain.

Re:Open source browsers? (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#45026057)

Maybe approving something doom to fail, is a way to get it off your agenda, and cease endless persistent lobbying by media companies.
"Yes. Why don't you start work on the perpetual motion machine - here we've provided you a framework."

Or maybe Tim Berners-Lee is Hitler.

Re:Open source browsers? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026189)

Probably, but it's a dangerous move in the current political climate.
They will enforce this and make it a horrible crime to distribute a browser that "circumvents" the brave new web. This is the world we live in now.

Re:Open source browsers? (3, Interesting)

Wootery (1087023) | about a year ago | (#45026067)

How does this affect open source browsers like Firefox? If something is open source you surely can't enforce any sort of DRM restrictions; someone can just build a hacked version of the browser.

As I understand it the thing they've just approved is some sort of 'standard' API with which Netflix etc. can tie their necessarily-proprietary, platform-specific, native-code, obfuscated-media-player plugin (DRM), into the browser (which may or may not itself be Open Source).

How this thing works technically, I don't know. I don't think it's just a C API.

Is this possibly the beginning of the end for open source browsers?

Why in the hell are they even THINKING of approving this bullshit?

Amen. 'They' (Netflix and co) need the web, not the other way round.

Re:Open source browsers? (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year ago | (#45026095)

Why does this need to be made part of HTML, though? The existing plugin infrastructure works just fine. You can implement whatever the fuck you want in a plugin. Just use that and leave HTML alone. Things are complicated enough already without introducing new artificial complexity that is purposely designed to break things.

(All DRM is purposely designed to break content. It provides absolutely no benefit to the user)

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#45026173)

Because their goal is to get rid of Flash. Which also arguably provides no benefit to the user, but some people still use it.

Re:Open source browsers? (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#45026429)

This is the exact opposite of "getting rid of Flash".

Re:Open source browsers? (0)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026551)

And do you have stats to back that up?

Re:Open source browsers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026209)

Uh, that's what this does. It's a "plugin" discovery api that doesn't implement any sort of DRM or content protection.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

Twylite (234238) | about a year ago | (#45026381)

(All DRM is purposely designed to break content. It provides absolutely no benefit to the user)

Breaking content in a standard way, which can then be unbroken in a standard way (likely to be cross platform and supported by your browser); as opposed to only being unbroken by a dodgy Windows-only rootkit supplied by the content distributor.

Re:Open source browsers? (3, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#45026403)

Breaking content in a standard way, which can then be unbroken in a standard way (likely to be cross platform and supported by your browser); as opposed to only being unbroken by a dodgy Windows-only rootkit supplied by the content distributor.

Please go back and look at the standard. The "standard way" you talk about is merely a standard API to a non standard blob of binary crap. It will still require the windows only rootkit to decode.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

Peristaltic (650487) | about a year ago | (#45026195)

Amen. 'They' (Netflix and co) need the web, not the other way round.

Isn't that why they're trying to control it with crap like this?

Re:Open source browsers? (4, Insightful)

Twylite (234238) | about a year ago | (#45026321)

Indeed. Encrypted Media Extensions, W3C First Public Working Draft 10 May 2013 [w3.org] :

This proposal extends HTMLMediaElement providing APIs to control playback of protected content.

The API supports use cases ranging from simple clear key decryption to high value video (given an appropriate user agent implementation). License/key exchange is controlled by the application, facilitating the development of robust playback applications supporting a range of content decryption and protection technologies.

This specification does not define a content protection or Digital Rights Management system. Rather, it defines a common API that may be used to discover, select and interact with such systems as well as with simpler content encryption systems. Implementation of Digital Rights Management is not required for compliance with this specification: only the simple clear key system is required to be implemented as a common baseline.

That rationale (as I've heard it explained) is that media (video/audio) content distributors are going to implement DRM, so the Hobson's choice is between giving them a standard interface (HTML EME) or having every distributor create their own proprietary media player (probably platform-specific with embedded rootkit).

If you believe that all media should be gratis, or you believe that all media should be open and consumers should be trusted to pay for non-gratis media absent any technological protection, then you will view EME as a bad thing.

If you believe that Copyright should be able to exist on media and that authors and/or distributors should be able to charge for the video/audio, and you believe that technological protection measures may have some impact to reduce non-paid use of such media, and you believe that it is in the interest of consumers to have standards for these sort of things, then you may view EME as a good thing.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

nine-times (778537) | about a year ago | (#45026411)

Yeah, I didn't RTFA, but I would guess it's something like this. Essentially Netflix and Hulu aren't going to want to drop all DRM/obfuscation, but at the same time many of us would like to see them able to drop Flash/Silverlight. I wouldn't mind some kind of compromise that doesn't require buggy/insecure plugins and could enable a standard video stream while still offering *some* level of protection that would prevent users from right-clicking a link and hitting "Save As..."

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026137)

Of course you can. Fox example, Chrome does this with Chromium. All the DRM is stripped out of Chromium, but you can still build the Chromium browser and browse non-EME content with it.

Non-EME is an edge case (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45026225)

The problem, as staunch DRM opponents see it, is that the universe of "non-EME content" would dwindle to an edge case once all legitimate providers of popular media adopt EME.

Re:Non-EME is an edge case (1)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026325)

I get your concern. But what's this "non-EME content" you're talking about? YouTube videos? Because that's the only thing that comes to mind (beyond vimeo, et al).

The average YT videos run on a viral + ad assumption. People won't pay for the average YT video. Sure, the owner of the average content may be deluded to think that he/she will make more money by turning on DRM, but I'm pretty sure they'll learn quickly. This is how capitalism works.

I think the argument that everything will turn EME-only work about as well as the argument that all apps on the app store are going to be paid content. Turns out most of them are freemium games nowadays. In YT, the ads are the in-app purchases.

Re:Non-EME is an edge case (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45026435)

I think the argument that everything will turn EME-only work about as well as the argument that all apps on the app store are going to be paid content. Turns out most of them are freemium games nowadays.

But freemium games, especially single-player games designed to run on Wi-Fi-only tablets, still need some sort of obfuscation to keep users from hacking in fake receipts.

Re:Non-EME is an edge case (1)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026601)

Right, obfuscation. Still hackable, just like EME. If the Content Decryption Module is sitting on your machine, you can still attach a debugger to it. Just...how much work do you want to spend? This is the same issue in all DRM schemes -- someone can break it, but it'll require a lot of effort to do so. And also, by your example, does that mean you want more EME?

Re:Open source browsers? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45026265)

And what happens when there is very little non-EME content? What happens when your bank uses it, the .gov sites require it and you must use it to buy things?

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026477)

Um...EME is tied specifically to the video tag. How in the world do you use a video to do all of the stuff you mentioned above? Show them a video and force them to type what's in the video??? That's why it's called Encrypted MEDIA Extensions.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45026627)

That would be one way.

If this gets in it will be expanded.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026729)

If you honestly think that is one practical way, then I really don't see how you're being reasonable and not just nitpicking. If you think the standards people want to use this as a way to hijack the openness of the browser in general, that's probably the tin foil hat letting in the mind controlling waves.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45026777)

No I think other folks do and this is their foot in the door.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

jafiwam (310805) | about a year ago | (#45026761)

And what happens when there is very little non-EME content? What happens when your bank uses it, the .gov sites require it and you must use it to buy things?

We do something else for entertainment. We do something else to work with the bank. (Like switch to a credit union. And LOL at you thinking the banks would force something like that.) Obama's government can't web-site themselves out of a fucking crisis in bengazi let alone implement something as sweeping as this.

Not a big fucking deal.

The internet routes around damage, and what people do routes around what other people force them to do.

After 12 or so years, BitTorrent is still alive and well. There's actual, real, actual MONEY to be made there and they can't stop it. Your fantasies about someone who has no real solid monetary reason for doing this stuff are just dumb.

This stupid shit will fucking fail, and nobody will bother with it. What the WC3 thinks is going to happen means nothing. Those drooling retards haven't been able to get CSS3 going yet, a far simpler, easier, and actually _wanted_ change.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026153)

It means we're going back to a web where pages work in some browsers and not others. So if you want people to be able to see your page, don't use the feature.

The hilarious thing would be if it went like movies. Then "pirate" sites would begin to appear, which mirror DRMed sites, making it so that users have a way to view DRMed sites in their can't-implement-DRM web browsers. So there will be cnn.com and cnn.arrrr. cnn.com will be the one where people pay to run ads, and cnn.arrrr will be the one that works, and coincidentally, lacks the ads. After all, if you have to pirate something just to get it to work right, then you might as well clean it up and address all its other deficiencies, too. The copyright holder has already written off making money from the users anyway, so why not?

DRM is turning out to be one the most self-destructive ideas ever. I don't know if even religions are quite in the same league.

Re:Open source browsers? (0)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026255)

I fail to see your argument.

If DRM is so bad, how is Netflix making money? How is YouTube making money? The point is, content providers provide a marketplace for content owners to show their work. If content owners believes that turning on DRM will help them make money, they will turn it on. If it turns out that it doesn't, they should turn it off. Isn't this how capitalism works (they also fail if they're stupid, of course)?

And as to your arrrrr issue, well, if they can keep the numbers below 1%, I doubt they'll ever care. It's not a black of white issue, and all of a sudden everyone on the planet flocks to the arrrrr site. It's all about the gradients, not some sort of 0/1 binary decision.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#45026535)

Capitalism only works when there is competition and DRM is based around monopoly powers, not competition, so no, they will not disable DRM even if it's better for them.

If there was competition, someone would just offer the content without DRM and the DRM'd version would not be able to compete, then we'd have capitalism.

Re:Open source browsers? (1)

non0score (890022) | about a year ago | (#45026643)

If that is the case, then everyone would've turned on DRM and monetized all their videos on YouTube (you can already do that now, you know?). Since that isn't the case, I don't see how your argument fits observed human behavior.

The right to read (5, Informative)

hazah (807503) | about a year ago | (#45025981)

Re:The right to read (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#45026131)

TimBL should hang his head in shame - then send his OBE/KBE back to the Queen, like Lennon did.

Fucking gongs. The Brits beg for these baubles, too - like puppies, on their hindmost.

Re:The right to read (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026677)

Yea cause everyone cares about silly shit like RMS and yourself. lol seriously, most of us would rather pay to watch netflix than care about 'freedom' of those bytes we'll stream.

Tim, don't be evil (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year ago | (#45025987)

Just take a deep breath.

and there goes the neighborhood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45025993)

malware of all kinds will be that much easier to put in a web page.

the web NEEDS to stay plain text.. unobfuscated, unencrypted, human readable plain text.

Re:and there goes the neighborhood (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45026159)

I remember when MS started protecting system files, denying permission for you to delete them. Viruses found ways to put that to work for them, increasing their rooting ability rather than decreasing it. You could even track down its files and the OS would forbid you from deleting it. Or killing its process.

Kind of was expecting this (2)

willthiswork89 (2885827) | about a year ago | (#45026005)

html 5 is a world with real applications, not to say that traditional html did not have real applications but with html 5 now having so many uses and access to hardware acceleration, I think the only next logical step to gain more commercial popularity was to give companies a way to protect their programming investment. I know my self I worried about using html 5 as a valid alternative to some programming I am doing because of the seemingly easy nature to steal and reproduce something I want "closed source". Don't get me wrong here, I love open source and hope this isn't something that is mandatory. But I also see some benefit of being able to protect my code. The real question will be how easy it will be to get around it.

Re:Kind of was expecting this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026299)

The good news is, nobody likely wants your source code. Faggot.

Re:Kind of was expecting this (5, Insightful)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#45026353)

If you allow web sites to require DRM, the web is no longer open. That's all there is to it. If you browsers must protect content, then browsers must be certified and signed before they can access the content. Had your desire to prevent the theft of your hard work guided the original protocols of the internet, it never would have become the important communications resource it is today.

Re:Kind of was expecting this (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#45026575)

prevent the theft of your hard work

I think you mean "Prevent the sharing of culture".

Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026039)

Please, lets wrap the entire Web up in DRM, this will ensure that all innovation stops. If you want progress, this is not the way.

Re:Yes (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#45026471)

What makes you think that the "media content providers" (the MAFIAA et al pushing for this BS in the first place) want anything that even looks like "progress?" They want to keep the same crippled, luddite stranglehold with artificial scarcity that they've always had.

Easy solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026055)

I only ever visit a website once if things on that website don't work. For example, I run a couple of browser plug-ins that reduces tracking and advertising. Some websites don't seem to work with that. I don't go to those websites anymore. If nobody visits DRMed websites I think the whole thing will sort itself out.

Re:Easy solution (2)

Peristaltic (650487) | about a year ago | (#45026227)

If nobody visits DRMed websites I think the whole thing will sort itself out.

...and I'm starting a porcine flight training program, which is sure to be a huge success.

Required by law to use a website (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45026249)

I only ever visit a website once if things on that website don't work.

So what do you do if one of the websites that doesn't work is the website that a government requires you by law to use, such as the site for filling in your tax return?

Re:Required by law to use a website (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026397)

So what do you do if one of the websites that doesn't work is the website that a government requires you by law to use, such as the site for filling in your tax return?

As it turns out, the postal service does still exist, and you are never required by law to go to the web site for a tax return, or really any websites for that matter.

Re:Required by law to use a website (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45026579)

you are never required by law to go to the web site for a tax return

This is true of individual federal income tax returns in the United States. But I seem to remember other countries requiring that individuals or businesses e-file certain forms using software compatible only with Windows. I'll let residents of those countries provide the details.

Shoot in the foot (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45026071)

Putting in the very fabric of the web a point of obscurity, just when we have to figure how to deal with security after the death of trust [slashdot.org] =. We are in the risk of breaking internet into country-sized pieces, and with this W3C is hitting it with a big hammer to see if it stands.

Re:Shoot in the foot (2)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year ago | (#45026099)

You can also view this as an attack on Silverlight. At least with HTML a bigger part of the stack is open.

Re:Shoot in the foot (1)

snadrus (930168) | about a year ago | (#45026293)

The DRM strength was in combining the decode-and-render in closed form plus a hope/mechanism that the render can't easily be captured.
If this decouples the decode from the render, it'll be like any other closed video codec, which can be used quite easily to copy content.

Hopefully, not everyone will participate (1)

twocows (1216842) | about a year ago | (#45026077)

I imagine GNU's Firefox fork (IceCat) will probably not have any part in this nonsense and will refuse to implement it. Hopefully, it will at least be an option (disabled by default?) on the more popular browsers.

Re:Hopefully, not everyone will participate (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#45026147)

Which is great until someone mandates it on all the places you are going, then having a browser that doesn't comply becomes a hindrence

Re:Hopefully, not everyone will participate (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year ago | (#45026279)

Same thing will happen as ~7 years ago: you want to access any commercial website, you need IE!

s/IE/DRM BLOB installed/

Re:Hopefully, not everyone will participate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026447)

Yeah, how did that end up working out for IE? I forget.

Say it ain't so! (5, Interesting)

Mark Lewis (2834621) | about a year ago | (#45026105)

Please tell me that Tim Berners-Lee is only declaring it as in-scope so that it doesn't get worked on by some other group, so it can be killed as it should be.

Good luck with that (1)

netsentry (2733393) | about a year ago | (#45026133)

Even if this does get included in the HTML 5.1 spec, it will be twenty years before it sees the light on Internet-day. Hell, a pretty huge chunk of the web doesn't even use HTML 5 and that spec isn't even finished. Even if 5.1 supports DRM individual site owners have the option of making use of it. And those sites will revel in the shit-ton of complaint emails and unsubscribers. Let them try it I say.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#45026341)

Huh? EME is already supported in the shipping versions of Chrome and IE, with Safari coming soon, and is already in use in the real world by Netflix to deliver video to users of IE and ChromeOS. Firefox is the only major browser to have not implemented or begun implementing support for it, and with every other major browser supporting it, all that will accomplish is to marginalize Firefox amongst the average user. To them, the problem will be manifested as "Netflix doesn't work in Firefox".

Re:Good luck with that (1)

netsentry (2733393) | about a year ago | (#45026619)

My post relates to approving work on DRM in HTML 5.1. How is your reply relevant to my point that it will be twenty years before this spec sees the light of Internet-day? The fact that Netflix uses EME now? Ok. Apparently Netflix users don't care and I overestimated 21 million streaming customers' common sense http://www.wired.com/business/2012/01/netflix-q4-results/...and [wired.com] Netflix is not the entire Internet.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026717)

The convenience of standardized playback is outweighed by having everything in-band. This will only be of any use to content providers on a system that is already locked down, i.e. iOS.

On an open system, this will probably facilitate more stream copying than ever before. Go ahead and let it fly.

I think they're missing something... (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#45026167)

HTML is hyper*TEXT* markup language.

If they encrypt it or make it an unreadable binary format, then it's no longer actually TEXT, is it?

Re:I think they're missing something... (1)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | about a year ago | (#45026303)

Not a problem: Hyper Tyrannical Markup Language and Hyper Tyrannical Transfer Protocol. They can just drop the "s" after http, as we all know that's a joke by now too.

Re:I think they're missing something... (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#45026415)

And EME is Encrypted *MEDIA* Extensions. It works on the HTML media tag, for encrypting audio and video, not HTML. It has nothing to do with HTML, nothing to do with copying and pasting or saving text or documents.

Encrypted video support in browsers is going to happen, or rather already has happened since EME support is shipping in most browsers used today and is in active use on the web, whatever the W3C or Slashdot users think about it, because there is a huge amount of demand in the real world from users and content providers. If it's going to happen anyhow, shouldn't it at least be standardized?

Oh? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#45026289)

A Web where you cannot cut and paste text; where your browser can't 'Save As...' an image; where the 'allowed' uses of saved files are monitored beyond the browser; where JavaScript is sealed away in opaque tombs;

I hope the Merchants of copywritten content aren't resting their laurels on this EME thing, as long as something has to be rendered on the client side people will figure out way to copy it.

Missing the big picture (3, Insightful)

no_opinion (148098) | about a year ago | (#45026297)

Yes, I know I will be flamed for this, but I think the thing that is getting lost in the conversation is that we've all be using DRM for years, and the point of this is to increase interoperability. How many of us have netflix or amazon movie streaming? Buy kindle books? Use steam? Even the books downloadable from my library use some form of protection. Most people don't care, because those protections don't impact our typical usage patterns. But all of these services live in their own separate worlds, because they are not interoperable. Adding support for a common protection standard doesn't suddenly make it possible to encrypt movies or harder to download images on the net because that already exists today (and has for years)! The point is to end the balkanization of media players and let everything work in your vanilla browser. That sounds good to me.

Re:Missing the big picture (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#45026379)

I'm against the whole "DRM as a plug-in" idea because it means only the most popular operating systems and devices will have access to it.

I'd rather stick with the current situation where we have dedicated applications on each device, Netflix being a perfect example, because it's the same roadblocks and limitations but without adding more crap to the Web.

Re:Missing the big picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026445)

That's not true, though. The browser will have to do everything EXCEPT the DRM. But without the DRM component (not in the browser) it still won't work.

Nothing will change, the browser vendors will just have to implement and manage more code, and the DRM vendors will STILL not make high-quality DRM software that runs on every platform.

It's really a lose-lose. It works now and it won't work any better by doing it this way. At least I've seen absolutely zero evidence of it doing so, and I've tried to find the icing on this cake.

Re:Missing the big picture (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#45026525)

> and the point of this is to increase interoperability.

This does squat for increasing interoperability. It doesn't really change much of anything actually. The real problem is that it demonstrates a fundemental philosophical shift on the part of those entrusted with looking after web standards.

The web is no longer an open medium designed to be usable by anyone with any browser.

No, it's just another content consumption medium now. It's just cable TV.

The old status quo was fine. The corner case of media consumption was isolated while still being accommodated.

There was simply no need to "swim in the kool-aid" here.

This will not make Netflix any more accessible to Linux and will likely only make more of the web INaccessable to Linux and other alternative and non-corporate players.

Re:Missing the big picture (4, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#45026545)

That sounds good to me.

That's because you misunderstand the proposed standard.

The standard is a standardised API to an external encryption plugin. All this means is that it is marginally easier to communicate with the plugin, though clearly it isn't much of a problem at the moment with flash anyhow.

It will still require a binary plugin to actually do the decryption, just like flash.

How many of your devices have flash?

Do you think $RANDOM_EME_PLUGIN will work on your Windows PC (of course!). Your Windows phone (uh...?) your Mac (perhaps...) your older Mac (probably not) your brand new Andriod phone (could do), your older Android phone (doubtful), your Atom android phone (really unlikely), your Blackberry (ha!), iOS devices (crapshoot), your TV with a built in web browser (not a damn chance).

If you think "just like the bad old days where you had to worry about who Adobe was supporting today with flash except now any monkey thinks they can make a binary DRM plugin because it's standard" sounds like a good thing, then you have a very different definition of "good thing" to me.

Re:Missing the big picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026565)

Or we can just get rid of DRM entirely since that doesn't actually work in the long run. It's a scam acted on shareholders to make them demand it be added to protect their interests when all it does is bleed money out of their profits (Which get blamed on piracy) and it doesn't stop whatever piracy is going to happen since it gets cracked or worked around. All the while only hindering the legal paying customers when the company decides to fold up business and shut down verification servers. (Without them going out of business mind you. It just wasn't making them enough money.)

While the paying customers continue to pay anyway as shown by drm-less music downloads.

In short, keep your DRMed BS in their own walled gardens where they belong. I expect an internet that's free as it's always been before companies started to turn it into their personal cash cows.

Re:Missing the big picture (4, Interesting)

Mark Lewis (2834621) | about a year ago | (#45026705)

I can see your argument, but on the other hand I look at the example set by digital audio. The same balkanization occurred there, until finally things got so bad that finally the media caved to pressure and now I can finally buy legal audio in formats that really are interoperable. There were several lousy years where I basically gave up buying new music while the industry figured out that the reason I wasn't buying what they were selling was because DRM didn't work for me.

So there is precedent that delaying adoption of really interoperable DRM has resulted in better media access in the end. On the other hand, I can't think of any precedent saying that having relatively painless DRM has resulted in better media access. Of course it's possible, but I think precedent weighs against you.

On the other hand, maybe you're right and the battle is already lost; with digital audio it was really Apple's closed distribution model that finally broke the camel's back-- there was no way for anybody except Apple to encrypt music for iPods, and music encrypted for iPods wouldn't work anywhere else. Nobody was able to put together a deal that would bridge that gap, and although Apple's market share was significant it wasn't big enough to standardize the entire market on, and consumers knew that they would be screwed one way or another if they opted for any of the then-available DRM flavors, so enough of them stayed out of the market that eventually the markets were forced to open up. With digital video, that hasn't happened. All of the major media playback manufacturers support the same DRM flavors, so most of the market can be served with relatively little pain.

On the third hand (ha ha), while I have started buying music, I've stopped buying videos. I bought a lot of DVDs after CSS was cracked so I could actually play them on my other devices; it was essentially an interoperable format in practice if not in law. I stopped when Blu-Ray came out because DVDs became second-class citizens, but Blu-Ray was too locked down. Streaming rentals work for me because the DRM only has to work once, but I'll never actually trust that streaming companies will still be there, supporting "my" content years from now after they've made their buck today.

So I still think that there's an effectual struggle to be made, that there's a chance that big media can be convinced to accept open standards. I'm not super optimistic, but I think it's possible, and so I'd oppose any attempt to make DRM more seamless and interoperable for the masses (easy for me to say, since they never seem to interoperate with MY devices anyway. Hazards of running Linux I guess).

The Internet will route around it... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026311)

People will use browsers and websites that don't use the DRM tech, and "big media" will wonder why their traffic dropped off... must be the pirates!

Re:The Internet will route around it... (2)

geeper (883542) | about a year ago | (#45026517)

SMART People will use browsers and websites that don't use the DRM tech, and "big media" will wonder why 1% of their traffic dropped off... must be the pirates!

And the other 99% will use will go on using whatever is handed to them.

Re:The Internet will route around it... (2)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about a year ago | (#45026519)

Tech-savvy people will use those browsers and sites. The vast majority of people on the internet have no idea that this issue even exists or why it's important.

Awesome!!!! (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#45026375)

This will free the internet from corporations. If you want the free internet use brwoser a if you want corporate internet use browser b.

Is this bad or good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026613)

Encrypted Media Extension (EME) proposal will continue to be part of HTML Work Group's bailiwick and may make it into a future HTML revision.

This is either:

Bad -- because this will finally make it very easy and natural to lock down content, causing DRM to be everywhere and inescapable.

or,

Good -- because it creates a single point of failure, and only one scheme will need to be cracked.

Tim Berners-Lee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45026681)

He's nothing special. He invented nothing new. I'm so sick of people claiming that he invented the Internet.

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