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[Bug 21016] New: Please split Clear Key into a separate optional specification

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 19:22:46 +0000
To: public-html-media@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-21016-5436@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=21016

            Bug ID: 21016
           Summary: Please split Clear Key into a separate optional
                    specification
    Classification: Unclassified
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Hardware: PC
                OS: Linux
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: Encrypted Media Extensions
          Assignee: adrianba@microsoft.com
          Reporter: hsivonen@iki.fi
        QA Contact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html-media@w3.org

It appears that supporters of EME are not themselves intending to distribute
premium content using the Clear Key key system. It appears that the main use of
Clear Key by the supporters of EME is to use it for debugging.

Even if the Clear Key scheme might have utility for debugging, I think it
shouldn't be a requirement to ship such debugging code. Moreover, an
implementor may opt to debug the full stack instead using the sort of CDM that
premium content would be targeted to but perhaps using debugging keys.

Moreover, it isn't a given that a non-Clear Key CDM always comes with an
implementation of Clear Key and it doesn't really make sense to have to
maintain an implementation of Clear Key on the production level of quality if
its purpose is just debugging and the CDM or CDMs that are really intended for
actual premium content don't happen to expose the Clear Key option. 

Furthermore, if one expects DRM for video to eventually go away as it did for
audio, having Clear Key support shipped in release builds would for sure mean
that some content would become dependent on it even if that content wouldn't
actually gain any protection. Thus, if the owners of premium content one day no
longer want DRM, we'd still have to keep EME machinery around for backwards
compatibility with content that exercises Clear Key for no good reason.

Implementing Clear Key independently of the CDM implementation for another key
system does not come for free: Browsers that outsource MP4 demuxing might have
to implement their own MP4 demuxing where platform MP4 demuxing does not
support Common Encryption. Thus, browsers that use platform decoders but don't
have a CDM for another key system that would support Clear Key as a side effect
might have to do useless development work just to get Clear Key working for
sites that for whatever reason use Clear Key even though those sites are not
gaining any actual protection by using it.

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Received on Friday, 15 February 2013 19:22:48 UTC

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