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DRM The Internet

Free Software Foundation Challenges Tim Berners-Lee On DRM (defectivebydesign.org) 207

Slashdot reader Atticus Rex writes: On Monday, W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) director Tim Berners-Lee released a post defending his decision to allow Netflix, Microsoft, Apple and Google to enshrine DRM in Web standards, arguing that blocking it would be pointless. Zak Rogoff, FSF campaigns manager, writes in the response:

"As Director of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), Berners-Lee has the ability to block [the DRM proposal] from ratification as an official Web standard... Of course, a refusal to ratify could not immediately stop the use of DRM, but it could meaningfully weaken the position of DRM in the court of public opinion, and put EME proponents Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, and Google on notice that a very prominent figure was willing to stand up to them on behalf of users. Changes in society's technological infrastructure require political movements, not just technological arguments, and political movements benefit greatly from the support of prominent figures."

Berners-Lee takes the position that "The web has to be universal, to function at all. It has to be capable of holding crazy ideas of the moment, but also the well polished ideas of the century. It must be able to handle any language and culture. It must be able to include information of all types, and media of many genres. Included in that universality is that it must be able to support free stuff and for-pay stuff, as they are all part of this world.

"This means that it is good for the web to be able to include movies, and so for that, it is better for HTML5 to have EME than to not have it."
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Free Software Foundation Challenges Tim Berners-Lee On DRM

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  • "universal" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by klingens ( 147173 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @11:41AM (#53975727)

    "The web has to be universal, to function at all. "
    As soon as you introduce selective DRM for selected platforms and devices, it's not universal anymore.

    "but also the well polished ideas of the century."
    Something with DRM is always never an idea of the century cause it will never last a century before it's not possible to consume that idea anymore: it is locked away with DRM, illegal to decrypt.

    • Re:"universal" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:16PM (#53975861)

      As soon as you introduce selective DRM for selected platforms and devices, it's not universal anymore.

      Which is rather the point. By including DRM in the standard, you allow everyone to implement the exact same thing, and make it universally available on all devices.

      By not including DRM, you would cause all the companies that wanted it to go away and implement it in some weird, proprietary way, that only works on the biggest platforms.

      You get support for more devices by putting it in the standard, not fewer.

      • Re:"universal" (Score:5, Informative)

        by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @03:16PM (#53976623) Homepage Journal

        By including DRM in the standard, you allow everyone to implement the exact same thing...

        That's possible anyway.

        and make it universally available on all devices

        ...that doesn't follow from the first part of your sentence. It would follow if what you'd written was by standardizing DRM you allow everyone to implement the exact same thing, but as your wording correctly implies, all that was standardized was the method by which DRM is referred to in HTML5, not the DRM itself.

        Had the W3C not punted on the DRM scheme itself, Berners-Lee's comments would have been legitimate if not what we necessarily wanted. But in failing to standardize DRM, they basically created another <OBJECT> tag - something that's inherently platform and vendor specific, and will never be anything but.

      • By not including DRM, you would cause all the companies that wanted it to go away and implement it in some weird, proprietary way, that only works on the biggest platforms.

        We're already at that point. Web developers only care about the biggest platforms.

        Most of the small, alternative browsers support the latest W3C standards just fine. Alas, web sites only support brand names. I regularly come across web sites that work fine in Firefox, but don't work at all in Pale Moon, despite the two browsers being based on the same rendering engine. The reason why is that the web sites are designed to detect your browser by the UA header or some stupid JS hack. When a site doesn't s

      • By including DRM in the standard, you allow everyone to implement the exact same thing, and make it universally available on all devices.

        Except that's not possible. DRM relies on secrets, not simply for keys, but in the implementation. You cannot have an open source implementation of DRM, because anyone can simply modify the code to remove the encryption and make the unencrypted stream available. You can standardise a mechanism for plugging proprietary DRM modules into the web, but you're still reliant on the vendors to provide them for your platform of choice. If you're a minority platform, then you're still screwed.

        DRM on music was k

      • Which is rather the point. By including DRM in the standard, you allow everyone to implement the exact same thing, and make it universally available on all devices.

        But the DRM system that is described in the standard does not even come close to accomplishing this. The DRM plugins are still proprietary and platform-specific. All the standard does is describe the plugin mechanism itself.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:20PM (#53975879) Journal

      > As soon as you introduce selective DRM for selected platforms and devices, it's not universal anymore.

      "Selected platforms and devices" is what we get without a standard. We know that because we've tried that for 25 years. How many years could Linux users not access Netflix. When I first got involved with the IETF (web standards group), ActiveX was the popular way to implement DRM. Meaning you could only see the content using Internet Explorer on Windows. Talk about "selected platforms"! Later DRM on the web commonly used Java for a few years, then Flash. Flash-based DRM lasted for many years, and there are still many sites that require the security nightmare known as Flash because that's how they do their DRM.

      Note in the above paragraph I never used the word "should". This isn't about what publishers "should" do, or what we'd like them to do. It's about what they actually do. What they actually do is require Flash in the best case DRM, and implement the Sony rootkit in other cases. Of course there are almost as many different ways of doing DRM as there are publishers using it - there is no standard.

      On the other hand, we've long had standards for video and images such as mpeg and jpeg. Are those limited to "selected platforms and devices"? No, the entire point of standardization is that a standard can be implemented on any platform and device.

      I've personally made the case against DRM to probably 100 of my customers (qho arw publishers) yet so many of them decide to go ahead and use DRM. About half choose a DRM solution that means I can't see their content on my device. Would a rather they each come up with their own incompatible, annoying DRM that doesn't let me view the content, or would I rather they use a compatible, cross-platform standard that anyone can view, developed with input from users? Given the options we actually have, I'd rather be involved in developing a usable standard than have another generation of Flash-based sites and Sony rootkits.

      • by peppepz ( 1311345 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @01:42PM (#53976219)
        But EME are not a standardized form of DRM. With EME you don't get a standard platform that anyone can implement in order to watch DRM-protected media. EME is a standardization of HTML hooks that allow portions of a web page to be decoded by a closed source, proprietary, non standardized binary plugin, that the content provider will choose. The difference from the past is that before EME, publishers would force you to install their proprietary plugin. With EME, they'll force you to use the proprietary browser (Chrome) or operating system (Android) that they think will prevent you from downloading their stuff. It's arguably even worse than the Sony rootkit, because you can be forced to use an operating system that has no root access for you but is safe for them. And since the proprietary plugin will not even need to be installed, because it will most probably come built-in with the browser or the OS, content providers will have even less disincentive to make use of it.
      • This is just another aspect of the question about the fundamental nature of freedom. If you are free, can you choose not to be free? And by corollary, if you cannot choose not to be free, are you truly free?

        It crops up all over the place. Can citizens in a democracy vote to cease being a democracy? Does freedom of speech protect the speech of people who want to withdraw or limit the freedom of speech? And more relevant to this case, the BSD license vs the GNU license. Generalizing, the BSD license
        • > And more relevant to this case, the BSD license vs the GNU license. Generalizing, the BSD license lets you do whatever you want with open source. OTOH if you use GNU-licensed open source to create something, you are required to release what you do as GNU-licensed open source itself.
          >
          > Honestly I don't know for certain which is actually better, or if one is better in some situations, the other better in other situations.

          It seems to me that each fits different needs slightly better. Certainly, the

    • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:23PM (#53975893)
      Saying "universal" in this context seems more like a trick of language, tacitly admitting that DRM has to be EVERYWHERE or sane users would never put up with it.

      EME proponents Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, and Google

      Hey look, all the major browser makers, except one. Users still have a choice in Firefox.

      Except that Youtube-owner Google spent hundreds of millions to obtain considerable financial influence [slashdot.org] over the browser maker thought most likely to resist (Mozilla). And then (what a coincidence!) Mozilla gave in on DRM [slashdot.org], and seems perpetually bent on making dozens of other perplexing decisions that users can't stand, and seem outright designed to cost it market share.

      Be assured that the other big (if not the main) reason they want DRM is to thwart adblock for videos. If they can compromise your browser/vidplayer to the degree that they've prevented you from even reading the content stream, then they've necessarily also prevented you from altering it.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Something with DRM is always never an idea of the century cause it will never last a century before it's not possible to consume that idea anymore: it is locked away with DRM, illegal to decrypt.

      Most of us just want to watch Netflix rather than worrying about whether people a century from now can still watch Bojack Horseman.

  • DRM and Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @11:50AM (#53975751)

    Does anyone seriously think Netflix could ever operate without DRM? No DRM, no Netflix or services like it.

    • Why does Netflix have to play inside a freakin' Web browser?

      You can use Netflix on smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, various generations of game consoles from all three major companies, via dedicated apps. Netflix has so many players on so many platforms they can't just turn around and say they can't release a player for Windows, macOS and Linux.

      • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @01:44PM (#53976227)
        The studios approve two types of devices if you wish to stream their coopyrighted content. One approval is for a hardware device - a phone, tablet, dedicated player (e.g. Roku), Blu-ray player, etc. You submit a sample of this hardware, they go over it and OK it, and authorize you to stream to it. This is why the iPhones got Netflix before Android phones. Netflix had to submit just a few iPhone models for approval, so that happened pretty quickly. They had to submit hundreds of Android phone models for approval, so that took some time.

        The second type of approval is for software players. If you want to stream to a software player running on a general purpose computing device, Hollywood has much more stringent requirements. Their fear is that you'll run another program along-side the streaming video that peeks into the memory containing the decrypted stream, and save stream to disk thus giving you a DRM-free digital copy of the movie. Their "solution" is that the DRM and video decode process has to happen inside an encrypted virtual machine, which then sends each frame directly to the display device. They don't want a native Windows or OS X or Liinux binary which does this because someone could theoretically modify the binary before running to weaken or pierce the encrypted VM. That's why the players are coded in Flash or Silverlight (theoretically you could modify those as well, but it's a lot harder since a new copy of the player is sent when you begin streaming the movie).

        This insanity is also why playing streamed movies on PC requires much heftier hardware than mobile devices. Because the entire decode process has to happen inside the encrypted VM, you can't take advantage of dedicated video decode hardware built into every GPU since the late 1990s. The entire thing has to be done in software (moreover, software running in a VM). It's extremely CPU-intensive. That's why until recently you needed an i3 or better (Pentium or Atom wasn't enough) to stream 1080p movies from Netflix, Hulu, etc, while your phone with a low-end ARM processor could stream the same 1080p movie with no problems. Because the phone was approved as a hardware device, it's allowed to use dedicated video decoding hardware.
        • by whh3 ( 450031 )

          Fascinating post. I was wondering if you had any links or reference material that describe such an "encrypted VM" -- I would love to learn more about it!

          Thanks for such a great post. I really found it incredibly fascinating!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The question isn't "Do we want Netflix and services like it?"
      The question is "Do we want Netflix and services like it in our web browsers?"

      • Re:DRM and Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:17PM (#53975871) Journal

        The answer is "yes". Just ask anyone who's not an obsessed nerd.

        Since Netflix is obviously going to happen in browsers, whatever obsessed nerds think about that, better to have some sort of standard for that, some hope of getting Netflix on Linux, than not.

        I know some people actually believe that somehow, if we didn't have DRM standards, streaming content would magically be DRM-free. Those people have a lot to learn about the world we live in.

        • Anyone who's not a nerd watches Netflix on their smartphone, tablet, set-top box or game console.

        • It's about the power dynamics. Free-flowing information is the norm on the internet, and unless browsers enable such support, pirates will keep DRM in check because everything gets broken. Surrendering to the media companies isn't tactically sound, because the math is on our side.
        • When you swing around the term 'obsessed nerd' like it's a cat you are holding by the tail, it makes you seem like a fucking suit. With that low slashdot UID, what the fuck are you doing here on Slashdot? Did you have your secretary buy that account with petty cash?

          • by Kohath ( 38547 )

            When you swing around the term 'obsessed nerd' like it's a cat ...

            Who else knows what DRM is and also thinks they should fight against it for ... some reason?

          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            My UID is low enough to remember when Slashdot was "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters".

        • better to have some sort of standard for that, some hope of getting Netflix on Linux, than not.

          Actually, Netflix is transitioning their content to Microsoft's PlayReady 3.0, so you will NEVER get a Linux version that isn't part of a "smart" TV.

        • Since Netflix is obviously going to happen in browsers...

          Says who? The obvious thing that's happening is not browsers, but "apps".

          Mobile devices won't even let you watch videos in a "browser". They force you to use the app. I remember regularly using the web browser on my PS3 to watch YouTube, when one day, the site blacklisted the PS3 entirely, forcing you to use the app instead. That pissed me off, since the YouTube app on the PS3/PS4 sucks balls. But, hey, it's the only way to watch videos on that platform. I stopped watching YouTube on my TV after that,

      • by dissy ( 172727 )

        The question is "Do we want Netflix and services like it in our web browsers?"

        Yes

        If you personally do not want Netflix and their DRM, that is perfectly fine, just simply stop going there and using them.

        But please stop trying your hardest to take Netflix away from me.

    • by allo ( 1728082 )

      People said this about music stores. Now you buy music as mp3, because they had no success with their drm.

      • And music is so far the only major exception to the rule, possibly because bundling up lots of tracks into an album and charging a higher price for it was always an artificial restriction. Much more music is bought as singles today, and mass-market singles can be economically sold at sub-dollar price points that are an impulse purchase for anyone who can afford an Internet connection and a device to use it. Unfortunately, the same economics don't necessarily work for creative sectors where the normal full p

        • by allo ( 1728082 )

          it's all about the convenience. DRM did what the EFF and FSF tell you: It stopped people from using their music. In the age of mp3 players a format, which requires you to renew the licence file on the player every few days? No way.
          The same does apply to netflix. The (even 4k) rips of netflix movies started, because people wanted to see netflix on settop boxes / sticks, which do not support netflix. People do not have a problem to pay $10 per month. People have a problem, if watching the movies is FUBAR. AN

          • DRM did what the EFF and FSF tell you: It stopped people from using their music.

            And yet it is also the foundation for arguably the most successful innovation in the music industry in decades: Spotify.

            The (even 4k) rips of netflix movies started, because people wanted to see netflix on settop boxes / sticks, which do not support netflix.

            Who do you think is ripping 4K movies from Netflix?

            People do not have a problem to pay $10 per month.

            As someone who has actually run businesses in this market, I can promise you that many people do have a problem with paying $10/month. The number of people today who think everything should just be available for free, or that any new content should be a $1.99 download from some App Store regardless of economics, would blow your mind.

            So you may only delay it by a few weeks, if you're lucky. Is that a reason to make watching movies a PITA for all honest custumers?

            Ideall

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Complete nonsense. Everything they offer, you can download for free somewhere. They are turning a profit because they are not too greedy and they are convenient.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        So you are seriously saying Netflix could operate without DRM? Why doesn't someone operate a service like Netflix with no DRM then?

        • Re:DRM and Netflix (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @08:03AM (#53979275) Journal

          So you are seriously saying Netflix could operate without DRM?

          Yes. Netflix DRM does absolutely nothing to decrease piracy. If Netflix provided plain .mp4 downloads (perhaps rate limited to prevent people from trying to download their entire catalogue) then their service would still work. I'd actually subscribe to them (I don't now), because I'd be able to watch their content on the FreeBSD media centre box connected to my projector.

          Why doesn't someone operate a service like Netflix with no DRM then?

          Because the studios won't license their content to Netflix without DRM (they also wouldn't let iPlayer stream films without at least a token attempt at DRM, even though it was trivial to break). They have failed to learn the lesson of the music industry and are still buying the argument that it decreases piracy as a cover for allowing companies like Netflix to control their channel. Netflix licenses their DRM to a load of set-top-box makers and so on, meaning that there are a huge number of devices that can watch Netflix content. That's a big barrier to entry for a new startup to overcome. If the studios would license their content for DRM-free download, you'd see a load of Netflix competitors spring into being.

    • Your framing, as with anyone who says DRM is somehow necessary, is giving into those who would take away the freedom the web was built on. I'd rather have a free web than a web DRM-based business owners feel more comfortable with because I value my freedom.

      Even in the narrow terms defended by DRM quislings DRM doesn't work to exclude those who share copies of DRM'd works; virtually everything Netflix publishes is available gratis online anyhow. So what we end up is the very divided web DRM proponents claim

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        I think a lot of people would rather have Netflix. Does the existence of Netflix preclude anything anyone else wants to do? Because not having DRM available precludes Netflix, and a lot of people seem to value Netflix.

    • Yes, they could do so... partially and maybe fully, eventually. The reason that they could is that they own some content, the "Netflix Originals" which could be DRM free. It may take years but if people appreciate the DRM free component enough that they only use Netflix, it will force the hand of other content providers and it's a domino effect really.

    • Does anyone seriously think Netflix could ever operate without DRM? No DRM, no Netflix or services like it.

      Does anyone seriously think DVDs could ever operate without DRM? No DRM, no DVDs or other medias like it.

      /s

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:00PM (#53975803) Journal

    I know this opinion will probably be unpopular here on Slashdot, but 20 years of developing web standards and web technologies tells me Berners-Lee is right on this one, from a standards perspective. Our choice, realistically, for some content is between standardized, compatible, cross-platform DRM, or non-standard, incompatible DRM that requires Internet Explorer on Windows with Java or Flash. This isn't about what we think people *should* do, it's about what they *actually* do.

    From the 1990s through to today, some publishers have found a need for DRM of one form or another, and over and over again they've asked me to help deploy it. I explain that DRM generally doesn't work and can't work. They then buy some DRM solution based on ActiveX, or Flash, or Java, or whatever is popular at the moment, and I can't see their content on my Linux desktop. The story repeats over and over. How many years could Linux users not access Netflix?

    The fact is, companies will implement DRM. Lacking a standard way to do it, most require Flash (which is a security nightmare), Sony installs a rootkit on customers' computers. Most companies *shouldn't* use DRM, perhaps, but they do. A few companies have a strong case of why DRM actually makes sense for their content.
    There is no debate about this point - we KNOW companies will deploy DRM without a standard, because the DO. Lack of a standard for web DRM has never stopped them from hacking together really annoying DRM.

    Do we prefer a standardized, cross-platform approach developed with input from users or do we prefer the Sony rootkit approach? Those are the realistic options we can actually choose from. The standards bodies can't prevent DRM, they can only offer a reasonable way of doing it or leave publishers to implement it in all kinds of unreasonable ways.

    • Exactly. If we want more Flashes and more Silverlights, by all means, fight against DRM in the browser. I, for one, do not. I will choose the lesser evil. We're going to need it until we "fix" copyright law, which could take literally forever.

      • But what if I want Flashes and Silverlights to only be installed on other people's equipment who choose to install it?

        What if I don't want a Flash and a Silverlight embedded into each and every browser that it's possible for me to use?

        • What if I don't want a Flash and a Silverlight embedded into each and every browser that it's possible for me to use?

          It's usually possible to take such things out, or at least block them. What's the problem?

      • Exactly. If we want more Flashes and more Silverlights, by all means, fight against DRM in the browser. I, for one, do not. I will choose the lesser evil. We're going to need it until we "fix" copyright law, which could take literally forever.

        One political revolution will end it pretty quickly. For some reason the US thinks they are immune to such a change, even when they see it happening all around them.

        • One political revolution will end it pretty quickly. For some reason the US thinks they are immune to such a change, even when they see it happening all around them.

          If we do have a revolution, I doubt we'll even get around to fixing copyright. It'll just be a new gang of assholes in business soon enough.

    • But as you say, DRM doesn't and can't work. Why the fuck should we bow down to a party that will ultimately lose? There are other considerations, and if they have to go out of their way to use DRM, it will become a more costly approach. Make them pay for buggy, substandard solutions and they'll either get it together or be eaten alive by pirates providing a better experience.
    • What '20 years of dictating web standards' tells me is that TBL has had his shot at it, and it's time for somebody else to get a chance.

    • >Do we prefer a standardized, cross-platform approach developed with input from users or do we prefer the Sony rootkit approach? Those are the realistic options we can actually choose from. The standards bodies can't prevent DRM, they can only offer a reasonable way of doing it or leave publishers to implement it in all kinds of unreasonable ways.

      EME is neither a viable standard nor is it in any way cross-platform and there was zero input from users. The input came from Adobe, Microsoft, Google, etc.
      EME is basically something like NPAPI. it has a few API/html statements and is otherwise a proprietary blackbox for only very specific OSes, browsers, etc.
      In this it works exactly 100% the same as Flash did: both have the same propeties.
      EME is one of the unreasonable ways.

    • I would happily support DRM that actually cared about customers' rights. I want the guarantee that, like physical media, DRM-protected content will be available in the far future. Blu-ray already fails this test, and I only purchase Blu-rays to strip the DRM and save a long-term format. I want the ability to gift, loan, or sell any media that I possess the rights to. I don't want to possess merely a ticket which grants me admittance to content for a limited time, under limited conditions, subject to the dissolution of whatever producer, licencor, or operator manages the DRM scheme.

      Because piracy has absolutely no effect on 99% of customers I am fairly certain that what content producers/licencors truly fear is "casual piracy" and fair use like loans and libraries where market forces drive the resale cost of digital media down to its natural price in the free market.

      It's perfectly natural to resist inferior DRM schemes by refusing to make them standard. If you want me to support an open DRM standard then it needs to be capability based with normal customers like you or me represented as first class owners of those capabilities and implement a durable scheme for transfer of those capabilities into the indefinite future.

      For example, consider a ownership-based scheme where producers issue N digitally-signed capabilities to a particular copyrighted work and sell them to customers on an electronic marketplace. Bitcoin has proven that it's possible to maintain a globally consistent transaction ledger of ownership of individual tokens, and a much cheaper implementation could maintain ownership and facilitate programmatic transfer of capabilities to digital works (to support sales, gifts, and even temporary loans) because the marginal value of acquiring more than one capability to the same work is zero and so there will be little need to spend gigawatts of electricity maintaining the blockchain against adversaries. The copyrighted work doesn't even have to be encrypted. Just make standards-compliant devices/software require current ownership of a capability to use the work. Yes, this is an easily defeated scheme for pirates, but so is every other DRM scheme. At least this respects individual property rights, the first sale doctrine, fair use, and libraries for the vast majority of users.

    • Indeed. It's worth nothing that both Chrome and (soon) Firefox will banish plugins, ensuring that whatever DRM exists out there will have to be built into the browser through political clout and sponsorships. That means if you don't like the DRM, you have no ability to uninstall it, or possibly even disable it.

      At the very least, we need a standard mechanism for managing DRM, which hopefully means being able to turn it off.

  • If the browser doesn't supply it, they'll use a plugin that does, e.g. Flash or Silverlight. So I don't really see the argument for stopping DRM, or standardizing the form that it takes.
    • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Saturday March 04, 2017 @12:46PM (#53975975)
      Because people will do whatever is easiest. By making DRM harder and more inconvenient, you make it less profitable, which puts non-DRM media at an advantage.
      • Compared to creating content at the level of a blockbuster movie, implementing terrible DRM is basically free. Sure, you're forcing everyone who wants to watch it to do some stupid crap like downloading a random Windows executable, but the incremental cost to the creator rounds to zero. The incremental inconvenience to the consumers rounds up to infinity, but it turns out that they want to watch it anyway and generally don't care so they'll just do the thing.

        To most people, giving them the choice of being

        • The cost isn't in implementing the DRM, it's in losing customers because the DRM is inconvenient. DRM'd media is broken, and by not giving them a unified standard, we ensure that customers eventually see it as such. Everyone is talking about the hypothetical clusterfuck of non-standardized DRM, and I'm here saying that it's not a bug, it's a feature.
      • By making DRM harder and more inconvenient, you make it less profitable,

        Slightly, but the cost of a reasonably effective DRM scheme relative to the scale of deals that the likes of Netflix and major movie studios are making is probably pretty small.

        which puts non-DRM media at an advantage.

        That only follows if you assume the DRM doesn't have a beneficial effect that justifies its cost. If that were true, the executives running Big Media businesses would have switched tactics long ago.

        It might not be a popular sentiment around here, but the reality is that a lot of copyright infringement is done casually and often by pe

        • Slightly, but the cost of a reasonably effective DRM scheme relative to the scale of deals that the likes of Netflix and major movie studios are making is probably pretty small.

          There is no reasonably effective DRM stream. Any movie or TV is on TPB basically as soon as a legit copy or stream is available.

          That only follows if you assume the DRM doesn't have a beneficial effect that justifies its cost. If that were true, the executives running Big Media businesses would have switched tactics long ago.

          That on

  • and put EME proponents Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, and Google on notice that a very prominent figure was willing to stand up to them on behalf of users

    I question whether this position is truly "standing up on behalf of users".

    Most users have governments which pass copyright laws predicated on the value of securing, for authors for limited times, exclusive right to profit from their works as a means of encouraging the creation of said works, the volume of which as a benefit for The People.

  • Better to only have to work around one DRM implementation than a bunch of different ones, cause you know they are going to happen regardless.

    CSS anyone?

  • I hate DRM as much as anyone but lets face it, if he did not ratify it into the standard, DRM isn't then just gonna magically go away.
    The only effect not ratifying it would actually have is to ensure the continued existence of a fragmented mess of multiple different actual implementations across different sites.

  • The W3C Encrypted Media Extensions only defines a way to use Content Decryption Modules (DRM) but there is no definition for the the modules themselves. If their interface and format were 100% defined then that would be ok. However, they have specifically gone out of their way to avoid defining CDMs because they want to make CDMs platform specific and be able to reach deep into your operating system to "verify the environment". Just say they can have the EME if they completely define the CDMs and suddenl

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