W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-media@w3.org > February 2013

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

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:15:52 -0800
Message-id: <22112A89-328B-4049-973C-773D0B11A2FF@apple.com>
To: "public-html-media@w3.org" <public-html-media@w3.org>
I think to make progress here we're going to have to see some sort of strategy that addresses the concerns, and I am at a loss to see what it is.

I quite understand that having content that is hosted on the world-wide web that cannot be presented by implementing open specifications is problematic.  In theory we could have this problem with content formats (e.g. there are image formats only implementable under license and NDA; they just aren't widely used). In this case, the 'stronger' solutions are all indeed under license and NDA, so it's much more real.

I go through the following steps:

* copyright exists; I know some people think there should be no such thing as 'intellectual property' but it's here, and pretty global.
* when copying is really easy, people do it, 'casually' even. computer-based copying is a whole load easier than cassette tapes and CDs (the 'frictionless' problem).
* some content creators/owners would prefer to sell their content and not have their market reduced by copying. I know, there are lots of ways to mitigate copying, and many of us have strongly supported rational moves (such as simple purchase and pricing), but content that has a significant value will continue to exist, and as the value (and hence cost) rises, the incentive to copy rises too.
* the content owners find that DRM-like solutions are one of the very few ways to insert friction into the system.

Now, content-protection systems can be used for other purposes (e.g. encryption that can be stored at the server end is cheaper than TLS, which is on-the-fly, and helps against capturing content in transit). Perhaps a specification of a 'DRM-light' system which enables protection-in-transit and some 'back pressure' to the casual copyist is worth pursuing, somewhere. It won't stop the determined, but they are in a minority, and it surely won't stop those who do 'massive re-sale' of content -- but the tools one uses against them are quite different.

So, in summary, since this is likely to be a discussion that runs -- what ideas/comments do people have that helps address the question of how 'valuable' content (that is sold) can be hosted on the web, in a way that respects our desire for a web yet also to respect the owners' investment and desires?

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Friday, 22 February 2013 19:16:29 UTC

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