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Re: CfC: Create Media Task Force

From: Kornel Lesiński <kornel@geekhood.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2012 20:20:56 +0100
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.wcrr06rpte2ec8@aimac.local>
On Thu, 12 Apr 2012 16:55:35 +0100, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> "Hollywood", as a legitimate content creator on and for the web, has  
> issues around protecting their financial base, and the W3C has a  
> legitimate need to hear out and address their concerns to the best of  
> its technical ability to do so.

I agree that Hollywood is a legitimate and quite important content  
producer, and has right to protect their financial interest.

However, between this statement, and choice to develop DRM for the web  
there is a giant leap in logic that requires several assumptions:

- that Hollywood is significantly hurt financially by piracy. Hollwood is  
known to exaggerate losses[1] and make dubious claims about piracy[2].

- that piracy is a problem best solved with user-restraining technology,  
rather than other ways[3].

- that technologies that aid creation of regional restrictions, delayed  
distribution, unskippable segments, exclusion of non-approved devices are  
needed to prevent losses, rather than being the cause of lost sales[4].

- that technology can stop piracy[5].

- if only stopping "casual piracy" is needed, that existing methods of  
obfuscation and access control are not sufficient to stop non-technical  
users (why a casual Netflix user would go through hoops to copy streams he  
has legal access to? Why would user put effort to steal content from a  
streaming service, when it's easier to get it from torrent sites?)

- that making copying of web content impossible is going to have any  
effect on piracy overall. Same content can usually be copied from other  
sources with no or weak DRM (HDTV, DVD)[6]

- that content protection needs to be developed by the W3C. Closed,  
non-royalty-free solutions that bypass browser media stack and have  
blessing of Hollywood are available already (Silverlight). From the  
discussion so far it seems that CDMs used by Hollywood will remain closed,  
won't have full RF specs, and will not expose frames to browsers' media  
stack, so I have doubts whether changing one plugin to another similar one  
is worth the effort.

- that making content protection for Hollywood is in best interest of web  
users and the W3C. The most successful and interoperable parts of the web  
stack are completely open and royalty-free. The parts of the stack that  
have most serious interoperability problems hurting users of both FOSS and  
closed platforms (like iOS) are encumbered by non-RF licensing (video  
codecs) or use extension points that became dependent on binary  
proprietary plugins (ActiveX, Flash, Silverlight).

So I don't think we can easily draw line between "Hollywood wants to  
publish on the web" and "W3C needs to develop Encrypted Media". That would  
need all assumptions listed above to be true.

regards, Kornel Lesiński

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting
[2] http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/20/the-numbers-behind-the-copyright-math/
[4] http://i.imgur.com/GxzeV.jpg
[5] http://misterborg.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/drm-as-cryptography.html
[6] http://thepiratebay.se/search/hdtv/0/99/0
Received on Saturday, 14 April 2012 19:21:23 UTC

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