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

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2013 14:05:32 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDAh+M9uCVLXpqhazd13W2wBPsZU8qBnCk=X44U3D0dYgg@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Cc: "John C. Vernaleo" <john@netpurgatory.com>, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, "public-html-admin@w3.org" <public-html-admin@w3.org>
On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:
> 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.

Your belief is impossible.  There is no such thing as not taking a
political stance.  Inaction is merely a type of action.

Worse, though, it's incorrect.

> 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.

Literally everything in this paragraph is incorrect, and most parts
are based on numbers from debunked studies that were funded by the
MPAA and related organizations.  Ten years ago it would have been
defensible.  It would have been obviously wrong to anyone
forward-looking, but it would be defensible.  Since then, history has
shown over and over and over and over again that the arguments in
favor of DRM are incorrect and wrong-headed, the use of DRM and
enforcement of copyright costs far more than the additional revenue it
brings, and the use of DRM punishes paying customers while doing
nothing to "pirates" who receive a strictly better product for free.

> 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)

I believe that the adoption of DRM modules will produce strictly worse
interop on the web, and harm people and our current and future culture
for hypothetical and very questionable benefits to a small number of
media distributors.  I and other browser implementors have argued this
exactly.  Your philosophical and contradictory positions about
"freedom" are unimportant in the face of these much more defensible

Received on Friday, 25 January 2013 22:06:20 UTC

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