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

From: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2012 12:58:20 -0700
Message-ID: <CACQ=j+c77J8vmvaamH+6X-sQZAMCsX0MB7CgdhYUMSSwFxebLA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Cc: HTML WG LIST <public-html@w3.org>, Craig Smithpeters <Craig.Smithpeters@cox.com>
Do you believe that the use of DRM/CP intentionally discriminates against
accessibility features differently that non-accessibility features? If not,
then why is the possible impact on accessibility features being singled out
in this discussion?

>From the perspective of those who employ DRM/CP, there is no
discrimination. Content is content regardless of the presence or absence of
accessibility features. The only discrimination intended by DRM/CP is
against unauthorized use. I am not aware of any case where the use of
DRM/CP authorizes use of non-accessibility features while withholding
authorization of accessibility features. However, if you or others are
aware of such a case, I would be interested to learn about it.

I would note that, from the perspective of commercial video providers,
there are multiple external requirements placed on their operating
practice, including:

   - ensuring that the use of certain high value content is effectively
   restricted to authorized users according to external licensing obligations
   placed on that content;
   - ensuring that accessibility features, if present in such content, are
   passed to and made available to authorized users under any legal and
   licensing requirements that apply;

While it is theoretically possible that DRM/CP features *could* be used to
single out and disable accessibility features (as discussed by Joe Clark in
your reference below), taking such action would be contrary to the above
requirements that apply to commercial video providers. In practice, the
application of DRM is applied to the entire content resource, independently
of its constituent parts.

I would also note that, because HTML5's text track facility supports the
use of out-of-band subtitle and caption tracks, then those tracks may be
delivered and used without DRM/CP while the related video/audio resource
itself is subject to DRM/CP. Thus HTML5 itself offers a way to work around
the case where accessibility features are missing or, if present, disabled
due to lack of authorization for the media resource as a whole.

On Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <
bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM, Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com> wrote:
> > The purpose of DRM/CP is to provide a
> > mechanism to ensure that access to content is authorized, and not
> whether or
> > not it is "accessible" in the sense of supporting impaired users.
>
> Regardless as to whether Ian's ethical analogy between access to
> people with disabilities and fair use is valid, it's worth remembering
> that DRM often goes hand-in-hand with a reduction in real-world
> accessibility. Please see for example:
>
>    *
> http://www.ala.org/ala//aboutala/offices/oitp/emailtutorials/accessibilitya/10.cfm
>    *
> http://nfb.org/librarian-congress-says-blind-have-right-access-e-books
>    * http://joeclark.org/access/resources/DRM.html
>
> --
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
>
Received on Sunday, 26 February 2012 19:59:08 UTC

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