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RE: Formal Objection to Working Group Decision to publish Encrypted Media Extensions specification as a First Public Working Draft (FPWD)

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 13:09:38 -0700
To: "'Andreas Kuckartz'" <A.Kuckartz@ping.de>, "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: <public-html-admin@w3.org>, <public-html-media@w3.org>, <jeff@w3.org>
Message-ID: <01ec01ce5d71$a30a6c60$e91f4520$@ca>
<non-technical post, with apologies>

Andreas, GaŽl, Florian,

Just so that I have a clear understanding of what you are suggesting here:

You, and the EFF, under the banner of "Freedom" and "Openness" are in fact
attempting to BLOCK, to STOP COLD, a number of software partners from
working - in the Open and under public scrutiny - on a technical
specification at the W3C that can be used on the Web Platform. Never mind
that this effort is being contributed freely, and it's trajectory path for
Final Recommendation includes milestones such as community input and comment
on its *technical* merits, an accessibility review by the PFWG, and a
published call for Patent claims prior to standardization.

Your stated reasoning appears to be that if you are "successful" you will
have somehow stopped Digital Rights Management from being used on the web,
or being supported by commercial browsers developed by privately held
commercial companies today. The Web "MUST REMAIN FREE!!!" you rally. As an
analogy, I see this as akin to stating that you support freedom of religion
as long as that religion is based upon a form of Christianity - anyone who
deviates from that myopic perspective is "wrong", misguided, or simply

In *my* Open Web, any group that produces a specification and then releases
it to be used by others without any patent encumbrance is contributing to
the Open Web Stack. And funny enough, that seems to be how the web works
today. (In the words of TBL, the web succeeded because they didn't have to
ask anyone's permission to do what they did. However now, apparently *this*
particular work cannot proceed at the W3C because the EFF and FOSS
supporters don't want to grant their permission. Ya, how does that work

My Open Web runs using protocols such as TCP/IP
(http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc793.txt), HTTP
(http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2616.txt) and IPv4/IPv6
(http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2460.txt) - all developed at the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF). 

On my Open Web authors create complex scripted web applications using
JavaScript (an ECMA Standard -
http://www.ecma-international.org/ecma-262/5.1/), while others freely
distribute PDFs (a 'closed' ISO standard today -
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/pdf/pdf_reference.html) to my browser, while
others again exclusively use .mp4/MPEG 4 (also an ISO standard -
http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=38538) with H.264
encodings (an ITU Standard http://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-H.264 that has
patent encumbrance) for the delivery of videos to my browser. 

Because, you see, my Open Web, the "web of standards", is not some
monolithic effort policed and controlled by the W3C - yes, the W3C is a
significant player in that space, and frankly to my mind their operating
model is far superior to some of those other standards bodies I just
referenced in terms of Openness and Community input/involvement. But to be
crystal clear, they don't exclusively run this show - nobody does (a point
that I believe eventually even the WHAT WG came to understand - at least
most of them). That might seem messy, that might seem chaotic, but that is
the reality, and the links that I have just provided are my proof.

My question to you then is this: what happens if you *are* successful in
stopping this effort at the W3C? Do you think that those who require this
technology will simply pack up their tents and go home, accepting "defeat"? 

What is to stop them from going to any of the other standards bodies I just
mentioned, or perhaps yet another Standards group (SMPTE -
https://www.smpte.org - comes to mind, or a business consortium such as
UltraViolet - www.uvvu.com/)? Or what if a private company like Google just
says to heck with it, we will implement a standard internally because our
business partners and business needs require one, and you can either use it
or not - we don’t care? (Ref: http://www.chromium.org/spdy/spdy-whitepaper)
If the content OWNERS of this entertainment media then believe that the
"magic Google thing" meets their needs, and a browser like Chrome/Blink
(along with say a partner like Microsoft) start implementing that solution,
what then? Do you really think you will be any further ahead? I don't - in
fact I think we will be in a worse situation than what appears to be
emerging today, where consensus (not unanimity) and a collective input play
a significant role in the specification development. 

You and your buddies can continue to wrap yourself in the warm and fuzzy
feeling that is FOSS, and continue to pretend that "entertainment content"
somehow contains an implied concept that once you license it, it is yours to
use however you want, whenever you want, wherever you want and to heck with
the rights of the Owners; that somehow "Game of Thrones" is just like Linux
and Apache, but in the real world, in *my* Open Web world, openness means
that anyone can use the gifts that TBL and others have given us to share
content with the world, but under *our* terms, not the terms of a
politically motivated group who think that ownership rights, and the right
to control and monetize what you have invested in, should no longer exist. I
don't prescribe to that, and neither do many others.

So, good luck with your battle. Feel free to continue to believe that
"Freedom of Religion is a global right, (as long as that religion is based
upon a form of Christianity)" because honestly, that is exactly how your
stance comes off to me.


</non-technical post, with apologies>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andreas Kuckartz [mailto:A.Kuckartz@ping.de]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:57 PM
> To: Sam Ruby; timbl@w3.org
> Cc: public-html-admin@w3.org; public-html-media@w3.org
> Subject: Formal Objection to Working Group Decision to publish
> Encrypted Media Extensions specification as a First Public Working
> Draft (FPWD)
> This is a Formal Objection against the Working Group Decision to
> publish
> Encrypted Media Extensions specification as a First Public Working
> Draft
> (FPWD).
> EME is not compatible with the Open Web and can not be made compatible
> with it.
> For simplicity I refer to the Formal Objection raised by the EFF
> regarding the HTML WG Draft Charter:
> https://www.eff.org/pages/drm/w3c-formal-objection-html-wg
> In addition to that I refer to these two issues:
> EME does not allow independent implementation, excluding open source
> implementations.
> https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=20967
> That issue was "resolved" by one of the authors of EME as an alleged
> duplicate of another issue:
> EME should do more to encourage/ensure CDM-level interop
> https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=20944
> Cheers,
> Andreas
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2013 20:10:30 UTC

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