W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > May 2013

Re: Formal Objection to Working Group Decision to publish Encrypted Media Extensions specification as a First Public Working Draft (FPWD)

From: wrong string <kornel@geekhood.net>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 00:44:10 +0100
Message-Id: <DC0A7135-17CF-4F87-915B-18CCC0BE67ED@geekhood.net>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
> I am suggesting that if the web is to truly remain Open, *anyone* can contribute a standard to the larger stack, and that no one group or philosophy should set themselves up as gatekeepers, which is the net effect of what the EFF and others appear to be attempting to do. 

I don't agree with that definition. To me it's akin to saying somebody is not open-minded for refusing to believe in ghosts. I think it's fair for an open platform to refuse additions that make it less open.

To me definition of Openness is allowing anybody to implement the full stack any way they want. Apple could build commercial iPhone Safari in secret as well as Mozilla can build FirefoxOS in open on FOSS terms, and both can interoperate without asking anybody for permission. I think it's wonderful that Web technology is just as open to international corporations as "hippies".

This has been true for the entire stack... except plug-ins and certain codecs, and CDMs don't pass my openness litmus test either. Apple cannot make Netflix EME-compatible browser in isolation and FirefoxOS can't hope to get FOSS-compatible CDM from Netflix.

You have to have permission from Netflix's CDM vendor to write browser that plays content from Netflix's website. It doesn't matter that the API to invoke Netflix's plug-in is free and open if the plug-in is required, proprietary, system-dependent and protected by DMCA from being made interoperable.

EME is like <object> tag. The tag's spec is free and open, but then you still need Silverlight (or Netflix CDM) to use it. The open part is useless without the closed part.

> If you believe my first point, then I further suggest that working on those standards at the W3C is far preferable to having those same standards developed elsewhere (whether at another standards body, or behind closed doors), for the reasons I stated.

I thought W3C was not ideologically neutral and sided with free, open and FOSS-compatible solutions.

Netflix may choose to restrict who is allowed to implement playback of their video, and may have excellent reasons to do so, but that is in conflict with freedoms W3C fought to give to users and implementors so far.

I agree that non-free technologies, commercial platforms, and closed source software have their place (I develop such things for a living), but I don't think W3C brand is appropriate for them. 

W3C EME is like PETA hunting rifle. 

So I strongly support taking EME to another standards body, or even designing it behind closed doors (I expect CDM APIs to be developed behind closed doors regardless of W3Cs actions, so EME+CDM stack as a whole will remain closed).

I would prefer it to be called "Google/MS EME" or even "ISO EME" rather than "W3C EME", to avoid falsely suggesting that playback of EME video is as freely implementable as other W3C technologies are.

regards, Kornel
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2013 23:44:41 UTC

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