W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2012

RE: Encrypted Media proposal (was RE: ISSUE-179: av_param - Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or Counter-Proposals)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 20:29:14 +0000 (UTC)
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
cc: 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1202242020060.1822@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Fri, 24 Feb 2012, John Foliot wrote:
> 
> If *you* don't want to use Content Protection, then don't use it in 
> *your* creative process. If *you* are opposed to Content Protection, do 
> not consume content that uses Content Protection - vote with your wallet 
> and your feet. But to throw one's hands up in the air and repeat the 
> "DRM is evil" refrain ignores real world realities, whether you like 
> them or not, whether you agree with them or not. As the writers of 
> technical standards, we should not be making these kinds of value 
> judgments, we should simply be making technical decisions based on 
> technical knowledge.

Pray allow me to recast this in terms that may change your perspective:

"If *you* don't want to write pages that are inaccessible, then don't do 
so in *your* creative process. If *you* are opposed to inaccessible Web 
pages, do not consume content that is inaccessible - vote with your wallet 
and your feet. But to throw one's hands up in the air and repeat the 
"accessibility features are a right" refrain ignores real world realities, 
whether you like them or not, whether you agree with them or not. As the 
writers of technical standards, we should not be making these kinds of 
value judgments, we should simply be making technical decisions based on 
technical knowledge."

I do not think this is hyperbole. DRM is an anti-accessibility technology. 
Quite literally: its entire purpose is to make content less accessible, to 
prevent users from using the content as they see fit, even preventing them 
from using the content in ways that are otherwise legally permissible 
(e.g. in the US, for parody or criticism).

It is unethical for us to make and use technologies that are intentionally 
inaccessible, whether that be preventing deaf users from knowing what is 
being said in a movie production of Hamlet, or preventing English 
professors from critiquing parts of that same movie.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 24 February 2012 20:29:40 UTC

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