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Re: W3C FAQ on DRM and HTML5 ?!

From: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:46:51 +0000
To: Andreas Kuckartz <A.Kuckartz@ping.de>
CC: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, "HTML WG (public-html@w3.org)" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <A015AF46-F9C3-47CB-A530-A09CCED5037D@netflix.com>

On Mar 5, 2012, at 12:29 PM, Andreas Kuckartz wrote:

> On 04.03.2012 19:33, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
>> It does need some refresh indeed but let's be clear:
>> W3C has many participants interested in finding a solution
>> around media content protection. So, we are definitively
>> interested in the space, independently of whether the
>> HTML Working Group is interested in developing a solution
>> or whether it is done in a separate group. Whatever we
>> choose, we will do our best to get the right balance
>> between producers and consumers.
> I will not try to summarize or repeat the arguments made on the mailing
> list so far. But I would like to mention two issues which in my opinion
> are fundamental.
> The first answer on the FAQ page correctly stresses that HTML5 is
> intended to be "the future Open Web Platform".
> So all solutions need to be "open" and "balanced". But neither seems to
> be possible with DRM.
> The producers do not trust the consumers, but at the same time they
> demand that the consumers trust them, because they do not allow the
> consumers to inspect the source code of the DRM software. In fact the
> producers even got lawmakers to make it illegal in some jurisdictions to
> reverse engineer DRM software. And one of the three initial companies
> who are supporting the Encrypted Media proposal at the same time is
> explicitely promoting "silent monitoring" of users in the context of
> DRM. After the experience for example with the DRM rootkit malware which
> was distributed by a once respectable company named Sony there certainly
> is *no* reason why consumers should trust the producers. A balanced
> outcome therefore must at least enable the consumers to inspect the
> complete source code of the DRM software which is to be run on their
> hardware. It does not seem likely that they would allow this.

One aspect of the proposal which has not yet been discussed is that it would allow browsers to expose to users information about which content protection mechanisms were being used by which sites and to enable users to disable those mechanisms if they chose. Those options are not available whilst content protection is buried in plugins.

A user who wished to review the source code of any software to be run on their system could simple disable all CDMs for which source code was not available.


> The current Encrypted Media proposal first of all is intended to be used
> to enable something which is *closed* in all meanings of the word.
> According to the discussion so far not even the publication of
> specifications of the main CPMs can be expected let alone Open Source
> implementations. Supporting such a proposal would be a watershed moment
> for the W3C and a significant turn away from the future Open Web Platform.
> Cheers,
> Andreas
Received on Monday, 5 March 2012 20:47:20 UTC

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