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

Re: I'm opposed to HTML5 DRM

From: Joseph Ashwood <techgod.bacchus@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2013 23:58:44 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJDt=QR-9_12xgm2O0HwfcQ4o1wd1f0hT4LgZ4i9VO0aikFp7w@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-html-media@w3.org" <public-html-media@w3.org>
Beginning at the viewpoint that EME is in scope for HTML5, so is the blink
tag, but everyone agrees that should go away as well. So that argument
doesn't actually offer much support.

Directly addressing the other point Paul brought up, the CEO has failed to
use accurate terms. It is not "content protection" it is "fracturing the
web." The reason is rather fundamental, this puts private, inaccessible
code, of questionable quality as a requirement for accessing some sections
of the space. Note that this does not in any way create a standard, instead
it creates a "standard" that takes the approach that all of history is
irrelevant, large swaths of the planet are irrelevant, even the legal
standing in several countries are irrelevant. I will explain each in

"private ... code" this much should be rather obvious, the entire purpose
of this is to define access to a plugin, implementing something which
cannot be published.

"inaccessible code" this can actually be debated. I know people who
specialize in reading encrypted binaries, so it could be argued that it is
accessible in some manner, but the primary intention is that the design not
be published, or at least some part of it be impossible to write unless you
are a blessed party.

"of questionable quality" there is a long history of all DRM systems being
hacked. All DRM systems fail. All DRM systems at some point accidentally
lock out legitimate users. All of this makes DRM of questionable quality.
Beyond this every single DRM system fails, to the point where the heavily
DRMd Netflix released a series only available through Netflix, and before a
human could finish watching the first episode, every episode of House of
Cards was available for download elsewhere.

"to say history is irrelevant." Lynx is open source with no private code.
Mosaic was open source with no private code. Netscape published code
delayed. Internet Explorer does not publish code, but does implement public
standards. Chrome is a precompiled version of the open source Chromium.
Firefox is open source. Webkit underpins much of the other browsers and is
open source. And now there is the attempt to wave a magic wand and say that
unpublished standards are now the law.

"to say ... large swaths of the planet are irrelevant." The underlying
assumption is that somehow individuals on disparate sections of the planet
will all install the same plugin. This doesn't happen. Flash is the most
widespread, but there is no Flash support for iOS, and there never will be,
support for Android has fallen away, before this the fight to get Flash
support on Linux was essentially a failure. So even with a plugin that has
been widely used for well over a decade, universal support has never

"to say ... the legal standing in several countries is irrelevant." Nigeria
for one, is a notable country, and has specifically outlawed copyright.
This makes DRM systems inherently illegal in Nigeria. China's viewpoint on
copyright is widely documented as varying, but their viewpoint that DRM is
not allowed (would break the so-called Great Firewall) in any form does
not. Further, there are still numerous countries where encryption in any
form (and it should go without saying that Encrypted Media Extensions
requires encryption) is still outlawed

The thought of implementing a standard for DRM in an environment where such
significant problems exist with even the concept is unthinkable.

All of this specifically applies to this proposal. In order to have a
standard that can actually be used, relied on, and perhaps most importantly
actually legal, is specific to the purpose here. EME does not currently
meet any of these. Whether or not any DRM system can is actually a matter
of debate.

On Sun, Jun 30, 2013 at 2:58 PM, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>wrote:

>  The W3C has already ruled that EME is in scope for the HTML WG [1].  See
> also the W3C CEO's blog post at [2].****
> ** **
> Please do NOT start email threads on this list arguing that EME or DRM is
> out of scope for the HTML WG.  If you want to discuss such matters please
> take them somewhere else and possibly to the Restricted Media Community
> Group [3].  ****
> ** **
> The public-html-media@w3.org email list is for “technical” discussions
> about the EME and MSE specifications.  ****
> ** **
> /paulc****
> HTML WG co-chair****
> ** **
> [1]
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-admin/2013Feb/0122.html***
> *
> [2] http://www.w3.org/QA/2013/05/perspectives_on_encrypted_medi.html****
> [3] http://www.w3.org/community/restrictedmedia/ ****
> ** **
> Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada****
> 17 Eleanor Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6A3****
> Tel: (425) 705-9596 Fax: (425) 936-7329****
> ** **
> *From:* Árni Arent [mailto:arniarent@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Saturday, June 29, 2013 11:33 AM
> *To:* public-html-media@w3.org
> *Subject:* I'm opposed to HTML5 DRM****
> ** **
> Hi****
> I'm a programmer by profession and I deal with DRM systems where I work.
> My 6 years of experience in the IPTV field I am in has taught me lessons
> about DRM, and why they're bad. I can not go into details on my
> experiences, but there are big issues when it comes to those DRM systems,
> their cost, service reliability, end user experience etc. I could explain
> in further details my experiences if that is needed, I will get permission
> for that.
> DRM affects the overall end-user experience, quality of the service and is
> a black hole on resources.****
> ** **
> There are other ways to ensure content is delivered securely to the right
> party, e.g. via HTTPS and via one-time use tickets, and they could easily
> prevent piracy as much as DRM does, and they'd do it for fraction of the
> cost that DRM costs. YouTube does this.****
> At the end of the day, if someone really wants to pirate, he can do so
> with or without stringent DRM controls. It only needs one person to steal a
> movie and put it online, yet Hollywood has resorted to thermonuclear
> warfare against the entire populous in the attempt to squash this one
> annoying fly. And even if it is squashed, another one pops up.****
> DRM should be banished by law as "pollution" in the digital eco-sphere.
> ****
> I encourage you to abandon integration of DRM into W3C's Open Web
> Standards, simply because they are not what the web should be about. Adding
> protection for certain companies into the web standard is an insult to not
> all the end users out there but all the other companies that would like
> protection for their content. Should photo stock companies get image DRM
> protection? What's next?
> Anti-piracy should not be part of HTML5. HTML5 should not care about DRM
> or piracy. HTML5 should be blind on these. DRM should be none of web's
> problem, it's an placebo technology that serves no purpose. Piracy is a
> social issue, and a content distribution issue, and cannot be solved by an
> obscure standards extension that will likely be ignored by some browser
> vendors, e.g. Mozilla, effectively creating multiple web standards.****
> Where I am sitting, DRM has proven to be a disastrous and pointless
> exercise that has yielded no anti-piracy result. Prolonging the DRM era is
> a huge mistake, don't contribute to it, end it.
> Best regards****
> ** **
> --
> Kveđjur
> Árni Arent
> arniarent@gmail.com ****
Received on Monday, 1 July 2013 12:28:58 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 15:48:39 UTC