W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-comments@w3.org > June 2013

Re: Keep DRM out of Web standards -- Reject the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) proposal

From: Laurel L. Russwurm <laurel.l@russwurm.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 03:18:14 -0400
Message-ID: <51C15B36.2030402@russwurm.org>
To: Arthur Clifford <art@artspad.net>
CC: public-html-comments@w3.org
Dear Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web Consortium:

The corporate special interests who lobby so effectively for DRM can 
continue on as they have, locking their own content behind DRM. 
Allowing the DRM toehold EME provides will lead to DRM becoming
the default.

DRM exists to break interoperability.  Allowed into the W3C
Standard, it will become the W3C Standard.  Please don't sacrifice the 
free and open Internet.

The W3C must decide whether it's purpose is copyright management or web 

Laurel L. Russwurm

Dear Mr. Clifford:

The Copyright notice traditionally appears on the work to which it 
applies.  Hope that helps.

Although at one time a copyright notice was necessary in order for a 
work to be protected by copyright in the USA, that is no longer the 
case.  There are, however, requirements an American rightsholder must 
meet before being able to pursue a copyright infringement lawsuit.
It is not clear which country's laws you reference.  (DRM is not one of 
the requirements.)

Intellectual Property Laws are not natural laws, but rather state 
imposed monopolies that grant copyrights, patents and trademarks.

These laws vary from sovereign state to sovereign state.  Within each 
country's legal framework, the copyright rules for the printed word are 
generally different than copyright rules for photographs, or movies, or 
or typography, or performance... etc.

Some countries allow broad exemptions to copyright called "Fair Use," 
while other countries allow narrowly defined exemptions known as "Fair 
Dealing," and still others offer no exemptions at all.  Copyright terms 
are longer in some countries than in others, and may be different 
depending on whether the rights holder is a human being or a company. 
Some countries honor "moral rights" and others don't. In Canada 
government produced works are locked behind Crown Copyright while the 
American government releases its cultural works directly into the public 
domain.  Some countries allow creators to dedicate their work to the 
public domain, others don't.  At least two governments I know of have 
conferred a special perpetual copyright on important cultural works.

When a creator chooses a license for their work, it does not mean they 
have given up their copyright.  Licensing works because of copyright 
law.  If the licensee fails to honour the terms of the license 
agreement, the creator can elect to sue the user for copyright infringement.

Licenses are legal instruments, not technical manuals.  Think of it like 
this: if you lease a car, the terms of the lease may stipulate you can't 
drive the car across the border.  The lease is a legal contract, and the 
law prevents you from crossing the border. But the lease does not change 
the vehicle specifications in the owner's manual, nor does it physically 
prevent you from driving the car across the border.

Since copyright law is so extraordinarily variable around the world, it 
is hardly surprising you would get parts wrong.  Just as it is 
understandable that you would be unaware that Canada's new copyright law 
jeopardizes our access to legal content, including public domain work, 
because it makes circumventing DRM illegal, regardless of whether or not 
the work is in the public domain.

W3C stands for The World Wide Web Consortium; the Standards being 
specified should work equally well around the world.

Your discussion of digital rights expression assumes there is one 
standard, when in fact there are a variety of Rights Expression 
Languages and an even wider variety of licensing options available.

When humans beings have a problem with copyright law, they can go to 
court over it.  When human beings have a problem with DRM, they have no 
recourse at all.

Laurel L. Russwurm

On 13-06-18 05:25 PM, Arthur Clifford wrote:
> The only problem with:
>> <p>Copyright  YYYY Rightsholder</p>
> Is that it claims copright for nothing in particular and from a strictly DOM perspective seems to claim copyright for the <p> tag it is contained within.
> The fact is that you don't need the copyright line in a document to be able to claim copyright protection. If I create something and you replicate it and claim it as your own I can sue you for that. Everything is tied to the law whether you want it to be or not, because when there is a conflict that needs resolution you need a governing body to hear the case and decide on it.
> The point of digital rights expression is to for an author to state the intended use of digital media (which I would include blocks of text). Its presence is to protect the creator and anybody who may want to legitimately use something. If you state that something is free to be reused by having some sort of Creative Commons markup and I use your content then you are no longer protected by standard copyright because you gave up that right and granted everyone the right to use the content. This is working within the law for the mutual protection of the author and would-be content user.
> I don't see how the public domain is under any legal threat it isn't currently under with or without drm. If anything the threat is that the law may have an opportunity to become savvier about protecting the rights of digital authors which is a relatively new concept within the realm of law and we're still in a wild wild west where anything, or many things, go.
> If I have a bunch of content that people really want and I put it up online and have a copyright statement, people can download and use it all they want or find it on images.google.com and think its free. Just because I put it up online doesn't mean you have the right to use it, and so if I find my work on peoples sites I can go on a suing spree. How does that protect the public domain?
> Wouldn't the appropriate thing to do is suggest that browsers not allow save-as features for anything that hasn't explicitly allowed duplication of content? It wouldn't prevent anybody from doing a screenshot and cropping the target image or content out but there would also be nothing preventing me from suing someone who did.  Keeping innocent people innocent is in the interest of the public and clearly identifying what is in the public domain and to what degree it is in the public domain is how you protect the public domain.  We can do that through markup agreed upon by a consortium dedicated to the world wide web, if only there were such a group .... The problem is that there are things that are considered public domain that aren't and when anybody suggests there may be a way to distinguish what shouldn't be in the public domain from what should, we get a diatribe against copyright.
> Proper copyright support with minimal changes to the spec would be more like
> <image id='someimage' src="..."></image>
> <rights target='someimage' type="copyright">Copyright  YYYY Rightsholder</rights>
> Because that would say to what the copyright applied.  And it would allow multiple copyrighted materials in the same document and to clearly state to which object the rights apply.
> And to thoroughly go against the grain here:
> <rights target='someimage'  savable='false' printable='true' type="copyright">Copyright  YYYY Rightsholder</rights>
> The controlling attributes or expressions of rights to enable or disable features in user agents would have to be agreed upon by the user agent developers.
> Lastly, if I want to legitimately utilize an image you have created in a product I sell and I'm willing to pay for it, and I do not see an expression of a) who created, b) what I have with regard to the object of interest, or c) where to go to determine that information, I would then not use the image and you would not get paid for it. If your intent is to make the image public domain for free and you express that I know I can utilize your image. If you say the image is public domain but anybody utilizing it to make a profit must get written permission by writing to .... Then I know what to do to get permission and possibly pay you for what you have created. This is less about enforcement as it is in letting people know what they must do to legitimately use your content. It means I can as a consumer of your original work respect your preferences and know what I can do legally. That is pure unadulterated respect; a concept missing from the notion of everything belongs in the public d
omain without restriction.
> Art C
> On Jun 18, 2013, at 7:26 AM, Laurel L. Russwurm <laurel.l@russwurm.org> wrote:
>> Mike hit it exactly.
>>>     <p>Copyright  YYYY Rightsholder</p>
>>> Particularly useful for denoting rights for digital material. It has
>>> worked well for non-digital media for quite some time, as well.
>> As long as governments have been imposing the monopoly of copyright,
>> the expression of such rights have been marked up as part of the content, and enforced in the real world by law.
>> Although some are obsessed with DRM and digital rights markup, the W3C specifications are not the appropriate place for any kind of digital rights expression or enforcement.
>> DRM is dangerous because it's ineffectiveness necessitates being double locked with law, which poses additional threat to both the public domain and culture.  That is already happening.
>> Including DRM into the standard is the first step toward Internet lock down at the core.  Because I value the Internet as an important means of disseminating culture,  I strongly oppose the incorporation of DRM into any part of the W3C Standard.
>> Regards,
>> Laurel L. Russwurm
>> On 13-06-12 09:33 PM, Michael Gratton wrote:
>>> On 13/06/13 09:48, Arthur Clifford wrote:
>>>> In the context of html though digital rights markup (which is
>>>> arguably part of managing digital rights) seems a relevant topic.
>>> You are correct. I find markup such as this:
>>>    <p>Copyright  YYYY Rightsholder</p>
>>> Particularly useful for denoting rights for digital material. It has
>>> worked well for non-digital media for quite some time, as well.
>>> //Mike
Received on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 07:19:01 UTC

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