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Re: On the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) document

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sat, 09 Feb 2013 12:00:53 -0800
Cc: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, "public-html-admin@w3.org" <public-html-admin@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Message-id: <750AFD7B-CBB1-4F9C-AA7C-7AFB6A215FA3@apple.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>

On Feb 9, 2013, at 8:36 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 9:10 AM, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org> wrote:
>> There have been several discussions in the past two weeks around the
>> call for consensus to publish as a First Public Working Draft the
>> Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) document [1].
>> 
>> Since some of the discussions have been around whether the EME
>> specification is within the scope of the Working Group or not, the
>> HTML Chairs asked the W3C Team to provide clarifications, which I
>> provide below.
>> 
>> The HTML Working Group is chartered to provide "APIs for the
>> manipulation of linked media" [2]. As such, API extensions to the
>> HTMLMediaElement interface are in scope for the HTML Working
>> Group. This includes work items like the Media Source Extensions,
>> already published as a First Public Working Group, or the Encrypted
>> Media Extensions. In fact, the HTML Working Group created a mailing
>> list for that effect last year [3].
> 
> This answer an *extremely* narrow form of the objections in this vein,
> which I don't think anyone ever actually stated.
> 
> Nobody, to my recollection, has questioned whether DRM is within the
> scope of the HTMLWG itself.  Assuming it was acceptable to work on at
> all, it seems reasonable for such work to take place in the HTMLWG.  I
> doubt there would be much objection to that from anyone, unless they
> happened to have a more specific WG already around for such things.
> 
> The objections from multiple people are that this kind of work is not
> in scope *for the W3C itself*.  We produce specifications for the Open
> Web, with the goal of helping ensure interoperable implementations
> that make our technologies robust and easy to use for authors and
> users.  The EME spec appears to violate this in spirit, and in
> specifics when you actually get the editors to nail those down (as
> they're extremely unspecific in the draft itself).
> 
> I find this response to be a deeply unsatisfying answer to the
> objections that have been raised by members of this group, and believe
> it does not address anyone's stated or implied concerns.
> 
> Please pursue the more general question, which *has* been explicitly
> raised by multiple members of this group, as to how working on DRM
> (with all the details that have been admitted by the editors, such as
> the near-certainty that DRM modules will be non-interoperable across
> platforms and browsers, and that some platforms will likely never
> receive any useful DRM modules) is an appropriate activity for the W3C
> itself to be permitting and endorsing as within its remit.

Hi Tab,

I think Philippe did answer your broader question, though not in much detail. He not only said that the work is in scope but also that  it is appropriate for the HTML Working Group to work on extensions specs like the Encrypted Media Extensions specification," and that "the W3C Team do believe that use cases like premium content should be
addressed in the Open Web Platform in order to bring it to its full potential". This is also explicitly given as the position of the W3C Team as a whole.

Thus, while not a lot of detail is given, the Chairs take this to say that the W3C Team believes this work is in scope for the W3C itself, consistent with the W3C's principles, and appropriate for the WG to pursue. We specifically asked the Team to weigh in, because we believe it's not appropriate for the HTML WG Chairs to rule on what is appropriate for the W3C as a whole. We have also asked the W3C Team to explicitly put this question to the Advisory Committee in the form of charter review, since that is the other body with authority over what work is in scope for the W3C itself.

I recommend that further discussion on this point should proceed via the AC or otherwise be taken up directly with the W3C Team.

Regards,
Maiej
Received on Saturday, 9 February 2013 20:01:22 GMT

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