W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > October 2013

Re: Standards Making 101

From: Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2013 14:36:48 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKcXiSqn4izW6gVOJre6y_+OXn3KA+e0_EQCtkZceRayp0KL7g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Cc: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
Kingsley, FWIW I share the view of the EFF on this matter.
"By approving this idea, the W3C has ceded control of the "user agent" (the
term for a Web browser in W3C parlance) to a third-party, the content
distributor. That breaks a—perhaps until now unspoken—assurance about who
has the final say in your Web experience, and indeed who has ultimate
control over your computing device."

RE: "The fact that is could be used in certain ways by OEMs isn't a knock
on the core concept."

And FWIW, I share the view of the FSF that the core concept is "defective
by design".

Keeping this reply in context of web payments, surely it's going to be
essential that both autonomous vendors and autonomous purchasers have
ultimate control over what software runs and does not run on their own
devices. If this is not the case, then the final say on the web payments
standard and any reference implementation will rest with the dominant
device OEMs. The web payments community will merely swap obvious control by
PayPal and Credit Card companies, for undeclared and hidden control by
device OEMs and their business partners. In that scenario, I'd stay with
the regulated financial institutions. Want an example? Many on this list
who have purchased a laptop in the past year or so have a WindowsOS
embedded as firmware -- it used to be we just had to pay the "Microsoft
Tax" and then install our OS-of-choice. Not now. If MS chooses to differ in
some way that gets in the way of clean operation of the web-payments
standard, we'll have to differ with them -- the mother of all IE6
headaches. If an unauthorized "fix" is circulated, and to implement the fix
you need to circumvent something on that laptop, that will be deemed
criminal act, and the creator of the "fix" will be deemed to be
facilitating criminal acts.  It's quite nuts. Here's another example:

A few years ago during public consultations about pending Copyright
legislation in Canada (where I am) I outlined the general hardware control
problem presented by DRM. Here is my submission:

In a free market society, it's basic that we each own our devices.

Joseph Potvin

On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>wrote:

> On 10/7/13 11:09 AM, Joseph Potvin wrote:
>> DRM involves encrypting content, and only giving out decryption keys to
>> vendors who contractually agree to disallow the users/owners of computers
>> from having any control.
> I think that's a very narrow interpretation of what DRM (Digital Rights
> Management) is all about. There's nothing about DRM that implies it will
> become conflated with the notion of a User Agent. It's simply functionality
> usable by a user agent. The fact that is could be used in certain ways by
> OEMs isn't a knock on the core concept.
> If we took this approach to other standards where would the World Wide Web
> be today?
> Let's keep DRM and and its potential uses distinct :-)
> --
> Regards,
> Kingsley Idehen
> Founder & CEO
> OpenLink Software
> Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
> Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/**blog/~kidehen<http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen>
> Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
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Joseph Potvin
Operations Manager | Gestionnaire des opérations
The Opman Company | La compagnie Opman
Mobile: 819-593-5983
LinkedIn (Google short URL): http://goo.gl/Ssp56
Received on Monday, 7 October 2013 18:37:35 UTC

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