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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 13:48:25 -0800
To: <john@netpurgatory.com>
Cc: "'Mark Watson'" <watsonm@netflix.com>, "'Tab Atkins Jr.'" <jackalmage@gmail.com>, "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'David Singer'" <singer@apple.com>, <public-html-admin@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00c001cdfb45$b6659c00$2330d400$@ca>
John C. Vernaleo wrote:
> On Fri, 25 Jan 2013, John Foliot wrote:
> >
> > 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.
> >
> Leaving aside the rest of your mail (which I'm sure someone else can
> reply
> to better than I), are you saying that we should not be allowed to
> decide
> if a proposal is appropriate in scope or material (or something else
> similar) for the working group?  That seems to go against a lot of how
> I
> understood this to work.

My understanding of both this list, and the Subject Line of this entire
thread, is that a request to publish the EME as a First Public Working Draft
has been brought forward by members of this Working Group for consideration.
There has been some support in favor, and some objections to doing so. 

It appears to me that the thrust of the objections for moving forward with
publishing the First Draft are based more on philosophical grounds as
opposed to technical grounds. Certain actors appear to be opposed to the
work being done to address a business requirement and legitimate use-case,
based upon their own personal philosophies with regard to "ownership" and
copyright law, and the desire of some content creators to actually profit
from the creation of their intellectual property. They make it appear that
this effort will be hostile to the end user (when in fact, those who are
seeking to find a solution are seeking one that is as user-friendly as they
can make it, as they have a vested financial goal in doing so), and
technically incompatible with existing software.

I believe that it should be out of scope for a technical committee and a
standards body to favor one philosophical perspective versus the other:
leave the politics of politics to the politicians - this is (should be) an
engineering forum and an engineering discussion.

While my personal perspective tends to be very liberal (I support the ideals
of Open Source software, I publish under Creative Commons licenses, etc.) I
also recognize the rights of creators of "entertainment media" to both
profit from their efforts, as well as seek means to protect the
marketability of that content. I do not naively forget that there exists a
multi-billion dollar global theft issue on the web today (Pirate Bay
anyone?), and that if we do not come up with a technical solution to attempt
to address that problem it will be legislated upon us, SOPA and PIPA
not-withstanding: it's simple - create a solution or be handed one.

I am personally adverse to having the FOSS "one true god" discussion block
progress on examining the technical merit of the proposed extension. Smart
engineers, representing W3C members, have worked hard and in an open
environment to produce the work now being considered for publication (and I
note that this is a First Draft, not the Final Recommendation). We, as
members of this Working Group, owe them at least the professional respect of
examining and discussing their efforts free from moral condemnation or
disdain: these engineers have jobs to do, and are doing so in good faith.
You may be opposed to the end goal of that effort, but that should not be
the focus of the current discussion.

So I will turn the question around to you: are you saying that because some
W3C members have a commercial interest in seeing a standard emerge that
addresses a specific and real use-case, that the W3C should reject that good
faith effort on the grounds that it offends some individual members'
philosophical stand? And do you believe that the W3C should be on either
side of the question of whether commercial versus free content has a place
on the web?  (I don't). 

Or do you believe that the W3C is the best place for engineers, representing
numerous goals, perspectives and business requirements, can gather and work
together to produce specifications for the web (in the open, and not behind
closed doors) that they will then implement and share back to the larger
community with no further claim on "ownership" of those specifications? (I

Do you believe that a small group of like-minded people, and a single
arbitrator of "thumbs up, thumbs down" is the best we can do for the web? (I

Or do you believe that the diversity of voices, and needs, and the
collective work to reach rough consensus on the *technology* from all
stakeholders, is better for the web? (I do)

Does that answer your question?

Received on Friday, 25 January 2013 21:49:20 UTC

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