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Re: Encrypted Media proposal: Summary of the discussion so far

From: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:22:17 +0000
To: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: Christian Kaiser <kaiserc@google.com>, "<public-html@w3.org>" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <811D23D7-C1DF-408B-A921-EB1ED1D451A1@netflix.com>

On Mar 5, 2012, at 11:54 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com> wrote:
>> On Mar 5, 2012, at 11:12 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>> On Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com> wrote:
>>>> On Mar 5, 2012, at 10:21 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 10:15 AM, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com> wrote:
>>>>>> On Mar 5, 2012, at 8:48 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>>>>>> As I suggested earlier in this email, the best solution for the web is
>>>>>>> to wait for the movie distributors to crack and agree to sell videos
>>>>>>> without DRM.  We can *afford* to wait, after all, since the status quo
>>>>>>> works.  The falling rate of plugin installation, though, hurts the
>>>>>>> distributors as long as they insist on using them for DRM.
>>>>>> What you are proposing is that W3C use its role as steward of the web platform to encourage changes in the terms on which third-party commercial services are offered. This is clearly a commercial goal, which I don't see represented in the W3C mission. A decision to adopt this goal would surely need to be made at a senior level in W3C, with advice from the AC.
>>>>> Only indirectly, insofar as we require commercial services that wish
>>>>> to work through the web platform to operate on top of technologies
>>>>> which are open-source and royalty-free.  This is a reasonable goal,
>>>>> and consistent with our history.
>>>> Today we have non-RF plugins and codecs. You want to remove support for those ?
>>> Ideally, yes.  Practically, we can't right now.  However, we can work
>>> toward making them irrelevant, and try out best to ensure that we
>>> don't introduce any new opportunities for them to take hold.
>> So, I think this would be a very bad thing, since these have been venues for innovation in the past and it would be detrimental to progress in general to remove such venues.
> I don't believe that royalty-encumbered technology is required for
> innovation.  

I agree. Did I say otherwise ?

> Humanity has innovated pretty darned well in the
> royalty-free space; we created the Web, after all.

Most of it. But how is this a response to my point above ?

>>>>>> Are you saying copyright infringement doesn't matter, because you believe - wrongly - that it doesn't hurt one part of the industry ?
>>>>> I'm saying it's irrelevant,  yes.
>>>> So, this view is at odds with some pretty basic principles of intellectual property which underpin the industries we are talking about. Again this view is not supported in the W3C mission.
>>> Bwuh?  You cut out the part of my quote where I explained *why* it's irrelevant.
>> Because the explanation was irrelevant. If you believe that the rights of authors can become irrelevant for any reason, then my comment above stands.
> I'm not asserting any such thing.  I'm stating two facts:
> 1. File-sharing, a large percentage of which is copyright infringment,
> has increased every year for the last decade.
> 2. The movie industry, which claims that copyright infringment is
> killing it, has had profits increasing faster than inflation for the
> past decade.  (The music industry, too.)
> We can put those together to argue that copyright infringment is not a
> horrifying job-killer that must be dealt with RIGHT NOW.

Did anyone say it was ?

>  Whether or
> not you think that sharing is morally right or wrong, it's clearly not
> an enormously important issue that would justify baking closed-source,
> royalty-encumbered technology into the web platform.

That's not what is proposed, any more than Flash or Silverlight is 'backed into the web platform'.

> This whole tangent is irrelevant, though.  DRM does *not* stop
> copyright infringment (see list item 1, above); apparently, it doesn't
> even slow it down to any significant degree.  I don't think one can
> reasonably argue that adding DRM to the web platform will have
> materially different results.

Aside from that not being what is proposed (again - can we stop with repeating this one?), one can reasonably argue that the response to much of the above is up to the owner of the copyright. If they choose to license it a particular way, they're entitled to do it, whatever you think.

*Given that*, we have some choices about how to support services that use that content. Stay with plugins or adopt something along the lines we propose. 

> Finally, authors' rights are a legal and contractual issue, not a
> technical one.  You can have both strong copyright *and* DRM-free
> distribution.

The author has a right to specify in their license properties that the technical means of distribution must have. So it is a question of author's rights.

> ~TJ
Received on Monday, 5 March 2012 20:22:46 UTC

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