W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-admin@w3.org > January 2013

RE: Oppose DRM ! Re: CfC: to publish Encrypted Media Extensions specification as a First Public Working Draft (FPWD)

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2013 12:32:06 -0800
To: "'Mark Watson'" <watsonm@netflix.com>, "'Tab Atkins Jr.'" <jackalmage@gmail.com>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: "'David Singer'" <singer@apple.com>, <public-html-admin@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00bc01cdfb3b$0d19a880$274cf980$@ca>
Mark Watson wrote:
> As I've said before, GPLv3 licensors are just as entitled to place
> these restrictions on how their hard work is used as video content
> licensors are to place restrictions on the uses made of their work. The
> fact that these two groups of people have made mutually incompatible
> license choices is just the way things are and the fact that they are
> free to make those choices is a good thing. It's not a reason to object
> to this work.


The gist of many of the objections to date have been based on political and philosophical differences around how the web should be used. If you truly ascribe to the notion that the Web Platform be open to all, irrespective of their philosophical position on *any* topic, then the objections around "incompatibility with FOSS" to date should be rejected out of hand. Insisting that it *only* be used in one way - *your way* - as many appear to be suggesting, isn't open, it's dictated.

As I previously noted, there is a significant number of W3C stakeholders who desire to use this open platform to interact with their constituents - people who, on both sides of the transaction, agree to enter into a contract. As part of that contract, there is a need for a means to secure the intellectual property that is being exchanged, so that the intellectual property remains marketable to those who initially invested in the creation of that content. To suggest that they not be entitled to that right is astoundingly naive and offensive to me. 

If *you* choose not to engage in that contract then that is your right; to insist that nobody else can make that choice because you are opposed to it on philosophical grounds over-steps your, and the W3C's, mandate. (As a side-note, even if the W3C standardizes a specification, there is absolutely no mandate for any W3C member - including browser vendors - to adopt that specification into their software. Those BUSINESSES will make their own business decisions, based upon their own business requirements.)

Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> I disagree with you on moral grounds, but that's neither here nor
> there.  I'm talking *technically* incompatible.  

No Tab, *Technically* it can be done (was it Jonas Siking who stated "this is software, we can do anything"?) but *Philosophically* it contravenes other software licenses in use in any given stack. None of those other licenses place technical barriers in the way, only philosophical ones. (Using FFMPEG I can both encode and decode H.264/.mp4 files on Linux, even though there is a contradiction in licensing philosophy there as well.) 

That may offend your morals and sense of right and wrong, but to state that it is technically unfeasible is simply untrue. (I note that given the business need to remain competitive, Mozilla/Firefox have figured out how to work with the licensing restrictions of H.264 - https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/01/firefox-development-highlights-h-264-mp3-support-on-windows-scoped-stylesheets-more/) and so this is, and remains not so much a technical problem, but a philosophical problem for you and others. 

Thus, I again ask that those who have objections to the proposed Encrypted Media Extension specification limit them to specific technical problems with the current draft under discussion (and I note that some useful dialog has emerged from, among others, Robert O'Callahan), or, barring that, take the use-case requirement and create an alternative solution which can be brought forward as an alternative Extension Spec for consideration. 

Objecting to, or rejecting out-right the use-case requirements due to philosophical posturing is (in my opinion) out-of-scope for this list.

Received on Friday, 25 January 2013 20:33:03 UTC

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