Computing Magazine

The Free Web Vs DRM in HTML5

Posted on the 26 April 2013 by Hadi20 @hadi_frht

 "The W3C has a duty to send the DRM-peddlers packing, just as the US courts did in the case of digital TV. There is no market for DRM, no public purpose served by granting a veto to unaccountable, shortsighted media giants who dream of a world where your mouse rings a cash-register with every click and disruption is something that happens to other people, not them." -Cory Doctrow.
With the death of the owners plugins like Flash and Silverlight, media groups have a problem controlling their streaming flow. For example, they wont be able to restrict a video to certain countries, or to ensure that a film is not viewed simultaneously by two friends sharing a unique Netflix account.
To address their concerns, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides an integrated control system (digital rights management or DRM) directly in HTML5, this update of the language through which the Web is built.  

While the measure has not yet been adopted, 27 organizations, including the April and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote a letter to the consortium. Their request: "Keep the digital handcuffs off web standards."
The Free Web Vs DRM in HTML5
The arguments for
Rather surprisingly, the father of the World Wide Web and W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee, who usually defends a free and open network, supports this measure. According to him, DRM is not directly integrated into HTML5. In essence, he said that HTML5 would contain hooks, and that everyone would be free to lock or not to lock.
More generally, he argues that such a system is the only solution for media groups to adopt HTML5 and  not to return to Flash.  
Netflix, the streaming giant, recently said it was ready to move to HTML5 if the W3C incorporated the famous extensions for encrypted media (EME, the barbarous name of opening the door to DRM plugin). Microsoft and Google are also in this camp.
The arguments against
"This catastrophic proposal would change the HTML so it promotes the digital handcuffs (DRM). EME is sponsored by a handful of powerful companies that are members of the W3C, such as Microsoft and Netflix. These companies are promoting DRM, both for reasons of their own and for the close relationship they have with the most important media companies", the coalition wrote.
The founder of the website BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow, is comparing it to the DVD, wanting to control the media chronology with geographical areas, media conglomerates have indirectly led users to hack. According to him, DRM is not only against-productive, they also limit innovation because they restrict the changes that can be made to content or services. While the industry has moved away DRM on physical media, including music from the iTunes store, she sees the transition to paperless cloud the opportunity to return to the charge. A story that repeats itself, in fact.

Learn more about DRM and join: Voices Against EME

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog