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Re: Encrypted Media proposal: Summary of the discussion so far

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 13:07:26 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDA9eteKH5uGMFsE=1W3wx2dwCMYWSgJLGsnpZ8RmHNYrg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Cc: Christian Kaiser <kaiserc@google.com>, "<public-html@w3.org>" <public-html@w3.org>
On Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 12:22 PM, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com> wrote:
> On Mar 5, 2012, at 11:54 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com> wrote:
>>> So, I think this would be a very bad thing, since these have been venues for innovation in the past and it would be detrimental to progress in general to remove such venues.
>>
>> I don't believe that royalty-encumbered technology is required for
>> innovation.
>
> I agree. Did I say otherwise ?

Your argument is that it's important to let royalty-encumbered
technologies work on the web, because of the innovation potential they
bring.  I argued (somewhat tersely) that royalty-free technology
innovates pretty well  by itself, such that the cost incurred by
bringing royalty-encumbered stuff into the platform isn't worth the
additional innovation benefit.


>>>>>>> Are you saying copyright infringement doesn't matter, because you believe - wrongly - that it doesn't hurt one part of the industry ?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'm saying it's irrelevant,  yes.
>>>>>
>>>>> So, this view is at odds with some pretty basic principles of intellectual property which underpin the industries we are talking about. Again this view is not supported in the W3C mission.
>>>>
>>>> Bwuh?  You cut out the part of my quote where I explained *why* it's irrelevant.
>>>
>>> Because the explanation was irrelevant. If you believe that the rights of authors can become irrelevant for any reason, then my comment above stands.
>>
>> I'm not asserting any such thing.  I'm stating two facts:
>>
>> 1. File-sharing, a large percentage of which is copyright infringment,
>> has increased every year for the last decade.
>> 2. The movie industry, which claims that copyright infringment is
>> killing it, has had profits increasing faster than inflation for the
>> past decade.  (The music industry, too.)
>>
>> We can put those together to argue that copyright infringment is not a
>> horrifying job-killer that must be dealt with RIGHT NOW.
>
> Did anyone say it was ?

If copyright infringment is not something that desperately needs to be
dealt with (clarification: dealt with on a technical level, rather
than contractual/economic/legal level), why are we attempting to
introduce DRM to the web platform?  DRM is solely a mechanism that
attempts (unsuccessfully) to slow/stop copyright infringement.


>>  Whether or
>> not you think that sharing is morally right or wrong, it's clearly not
>> an enormously important issue that would justify baking closed-source,
>> royalty-encumbered technology into the web platform.
>
> That's not what is proposed, any more than Flash or Silverlight is 'backed into the web platform'.

For most practical purposes, Flash *is* baked into the web platform.
A few years ago, every browser was *required* by market forces to
support Flash.  Thanks to the efforts started by iOS, the trend is
reversing, but it's still something you probably need if you want a
popular desktop browser today.

Further, if a spec was proposed that required an unspecified external
technology to plug into it, and it was clear that most actual users of
the specified tech were going to use Flash or similar, that would be a
significant drawback.  And Flash is much *less* objectionable than DRM
blackboxes.


>> This whole tangent is irrelevant, though.  DRM does *not* stop
>> copyright infringment (see list item 1, above); apparently, it doesn't
>> even slow it down to any significant degree.  I don't think one can
>> reasonably argue that adding DRM to the web platform will have
>> materially different results.
>
> Aside from that not being what is proposed (again - can we stop with repeating this one?)

It is being proposed, it's just not in the spec.  You personally
stated that Netflix would be using a CDM that implements "real" DRM,
not something like ClearKey.


>, one can reasonably argue that the response to much of the above is up to the owner of the copyright. If they choose to license it a particular way, they're entitled to do it, whatever you think.
>
> *Given that*, we have some choices about how to support services that use that content. Stay with plugins or adopt something along the lines we propose.
>
>> Finally, authors' rights are a legal and contractual issue, not a
>> technical one.  You can have both strong copyright *and* DRM-free
>> distribution.
>
> The author has a right to specify in their license properties that the technical means of distribution must have. So it is a question of author's rights.

Sure, and I have a right to require any browser I use to not
interoperate with closed-source blackboxes that impair my computer's
security.  So it's a question of user's rights.

If we set aside the rhetoric, you're attempting to argue that we
should honor the copyright owner's wishes at the expense of all the
downsides that have been previously listed in these threads.

~TJ
Received on Monday, 5 March 2012 21:08:14 UTC

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