Video copy protection

Firefox has "Save As" and "Copy Video Location" options in available in  
context menu of <video>. I'm afraid that easy availability of these  
options may be seen as disadvantage of <video> by content publishers.

I think HTML5 should let content publishers decide whether UA is allowed  
to let user download video or not. The use cases are:

  • Ensuring that video is seen alongside ads and only via site's branded  
player. "Copy Video Location" option lets users share direct link to the  
raw video stream.

  • Services that have license to play videos, but not redistribute them in  
any other way (e.g. pay-per-view).

I understand that any DRM is doomed to fail, but I'm under impression that  
important content publishers do not. And there's big difference between  
users casually clicking "Save as" and users sniffing network traffic and  
reverse-engineering obfuscated JavaScript.

I'm afraid that if HTML5 doesn't give enough control, publishers will  
either ignore <video> (and keep using Flash which gives them that control)  
or try to protect it themselves, using shady HTTP/CSS/JS tricks that have  
negative side-effects for legitimate users.

The protection could be as simple as boolean attribute that disables "Save  
as" functionality. It might also be microdata/microformat that defines  
video license and indirectly controls UI for saving of the video.

regards, Kornel Lesiński

Received on Monday, 8 February 2010 20:42:17 UTC