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

From: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 21:34:03 +0000
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
CC: Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, "HTML WG (public-html@w3.org)" <public-html@w3.org>, "David Dorwin" <ddorwin@google.com>
Message-ID: <2A6F6AC2-8B99-4DA5-A753-CACA7EDCC55A@netflix.com>

On Feb 27, 2012, at 10:12 AM, David Singer wrote:

> 
> On Feb 21, 2012, at 15:16 , Adrian Bateman wrote:
> 
>> Many content providers and application developers have said they can't use <audio>
>> and <video> because HTML lacks robust content protection. 
> 
> 
> I'd really appreciate it if myths like this were not propagated.  HTML5 says nothing at all about the format of embedded media resources.  If the platform supports robust content protection, they are as playable as anything else.

David,

That is not strictly correct: many browsers include the entire media pipeline in browser code, so even if the "platform" on which they are running supports content protection it will not be accessible through HTML5.

It is true, though, that if a browser makes use of a platform-provided media pipeline and this supports content protection then content protected that way may be playable - if the provider has the right kind of content-protection-system-specific front-end servers available. Also true if the browser itself implements the content protection scheme.

But it is certainly not a myth that many content providers and application developers say they can't use <audio> and <video> because of the lack of a standard way in HTML to access such features. That is certainly the case for Netflix, together with some other reasons. That content protection is frequently cited as a reason for using Flash or Silverlight is also evidence that there is something missing in HTML. The reason is not that it absolutely cannot be done with the HTML specification as it is, but that too much coordination is needed between content provider, browser and platform to make that practical.

By defining a standard architecture and decoupling service-specific and content-protection-specific aspects, we make it much easier to create a service supporting a diversity of browsers and devices based on a diversity of protection systems.

...Mark

> 
> Similarly the proposal itself starts with the same flawed implication, that protected content cannot be played in HTML5:
> 
> "This proposal extends HTMLMediaElement to enable playback of protected content. "
> 
> 
> David Singer
> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
> 
> 
Received on Monday, 27 February 2012 21:34:34 GMT

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