W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-media@w3.org > September 2016

Re: Formal objections to Encrypted Media Extensions

From: Devin Ulibarri <devin@devinulibarri.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2016 20:28:10 -0400
To: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Cc: David Singer <singer@apple.com>, Cory Doctorow <cory@eff.org>, Joe Feely <joe.feely@googlemail.com>, Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joe@cdt.org>, Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "public-html-media@w3.org" <public-html-media@w3.org>
Message-ID: <d4ec0da0-fc72-d207-2265-29845f033425@devinulibarri.com>
On 09/08/2016 04:04 PM, Mark Watson wrote:
>> I would be super-happy is this discussion were revisited. I represent
>> > other educators, my students, and my musician colleagues.
>> >
> ​I believe David was referring to the specific issue of a covenant for
> security research, as proposed by the EFF, not the general issue of whether
> W3C should publish EME.

Mark, thank you for this clarification. I did misunderstand this.

As for DRM in HTML web standards, my bottom line is that I cannot
support any design that restrict what people can do on their
computers--or files on their computers, or software running on their
computers, or media people play on their computers--such as DRM.

Richard Stallman calls DRM "Digital Restrictions Management",
calling it what it means to users, since it restricts what users would
otherwise be at liberty to do. I agree with this observation, because,
from my perspective, DRM represents restrictions that are being imposed
by others via design decisions and implementation--not rights being granted.

>> > Can someone(s) please help me understand how EME will benefit the regular,
>> > but socially-minded, web user such as myself?
>> >
> ​Very generally, before EME, *if* you wished to use a website that employs
> DRM ​- such as Netflix - you would be asked to install a plugin - such as
> Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight. EME offers such sites the opportunity
> to migrate to a different model, in which the DRM component is integrated
> with their browser and is constrained in various ways defined by the
> specification.
> EME is a technical refactoring of functionality which already existed on
> the web and will facilitate the eventual deprecation of plugins altogether.

I will agree that the deprecation of the proprietary plugins you name
above is a good thing, however the issue of DRM still remains. (SIDE
NOTE: If  __all publicly published versions__ of Flash and Silverlight
were re-released under a free (libre) software license[1], and without
any changes, I would no longer have reason to object to the plugins
being proprietary.)

[1] See https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html for definition of

> Personally, I don't consider such practical engineering work as
> representing some kind of statement on the various political issues that
> have been raised, but obviously some people do.

Well, I would say that the decisions regarding the future of HTML
standards are a matter of *policy* and since the Internet as we have it
is designed for use by the *public*, that the decisions made here could
be thought of as *public policy* decisions--important policy decisions
that will affect the public at large.

My vote is to leave DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) out of HTML
standards entirely. I say this not representing any corporation or
institution but as an individual member of the public.


Devin Ulibarri
Received on Monday, 12 September 2016 00:28:41 UTC

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