Bruce Lawson's personal site

More on DRM in HTML5

(This is a personal blogpost; it doesn’t represent the opinion of my employer, my wife or my hamster.)

Until now, I hadn’t paid much attention to the details of the DRM extension to HTML (which is actually called “Encrypted Media Extensions” in the same way as some people call a “fart” a “trouser cough”).

This is due to a resigned feeling that, like death and taxes, DRM is inevitable because too many vested interests require it and until it does get specified and implemented, those powerful corporations won’t invest in the not-as-open-as-before Web.

Therefore, I wrote last year “Like an unpleasant medical procedure such as having a catheter inserted, if it must happen it might as well come sooner rather than later.”

I also thought that at least specifying it in the language means that some users won’t be completely locked out (as, for example, Linux users are by Silverlight DRM.)

It turns out that I was wrong.

As Geoffrey Sneddon orginally told me, and Manu Sporny’s review of the specification confirms

The EME specification does not specify a DRM scheme in the specification, rather it explains the architecture for a DRM plug-in mechanism. This will lead to plug-in proliferation on the Web. Plugins are something that are detrimental to inter-operability because it is inevitable that the DRM plugin vendors will not be able to support all platforms at all times. So, some people will be able to view content, others will not.

I don’t have a moral problem with DRM. I just don’t believe it works, so it’s a waste of time. But encouraging plugins that will leave some law-abiding customers who want to pay for content unable to do so is the worst of all worlds.

Note to DRM people: I’m patenting the idea of <article drm=”drm”> which will disable copy and paste in the browser and pop up an alert warning people not to copy it. Implement it and feel my mighty lawsuit.

Buy "Calling For The Moon", my debut album of songs I wrote while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. (Only £2, on Bandcamp.)

40 Responses to “ More on DRM in HTML5 ”

Comment by Isofarro

If the movie industry continue to demand a particular technical solution – without technical merit that leaves a few paths:

1.) Apps: the movie studios will probably head down the native app solution, because much like the “DRM plugin” scenario leads to inter-operability problems if you are not on a dominating platform/device, apps will seem like a preferable alternative towards the facade of keeping iron-tight control over the digital bytes.

2.) A DRM plugin architecture on the web – as Manu correctly points out – creates interoperability problems. As well as intellectual property and licensing issues. This will be a poor cousin to the App approach. So why even bother?

3.) An open standard and open source implementable digital protection scheme, preferably baked into the browser rather than on-top. The movie studios will probably dislike this because they lose their perception of control over their content and delegate it to browser vendors. I guess this can only work if enough independent movie studios play along and reap tidy profits. Then maybe the major movie studios will concede that it is good enough, and worth the relaxing of their iron-tight grasp.

I’d like to see option 3 happen. And we should show a concerted effort to support independent movie studios who embrace this approach. But I fear option 1 is where it will go, again limiting the real practical choice of devices.

(disclaimer: I am employed by an online streaming company, but these are my opinions and thoughts, not those of my employer.)

Comment by Anonymous Coward

A couple of things to bear in mind.

As per, Microsft “offer a unique indemnification policy for our licensees on IP.” What this probably means is that if PlayReady, the MS DRM solution (which is pretty much a de facto standard in the digital video industry) is *broken* (that is: someone works out a way to trivially unDRM PlayReady’d videos (because of a weakness in PlayReady, not by stealing keys) then Microsoft are liable for a huge ton of money because they’ve indemnified licensees against that happening. This means that they are likely reluctant to license PlayReady to new platforms, or without due diligence, or in a way that might make it easier to break, or anything that even increases the attack surface, because there’s that risk of going into the hole for a zillion bucks if it is broken. There’s also little to no motive for MS to open source PlayReady; then they wouldn’t get the licensing money from it. This indemnification is likely one of the reasons that playReady *became* the de facto standard. So, given an open source DRM solution, who’ll indemnify studios against it being broken?

Secondly, the web (assume for the purposes of this that we can talk about “the web” as one consistent entity) could take a more forcing approach. Instead of saying “ok, movie people, what DRM solution would you like that we’re able to implement?” and getting agreement up front, the web could define and decide on a DRM solution that the web’s happy with (that is: open source, able to be implemented everywhere, technically robust) and then say: hey, movie people, this thing already exists on a billion web devices and browsers and machines. You’re really going to try and force your own proprietary thing rather than use this platform with incredible reach that already exists?

Historically, the web’s been reluctant to force things in this way — that’s what evil monopolists do, not our happy-clappy flower-power web. On the other hand, is anyone using image formats that aren’t jpg, gif, or png any more? Forcing works.

However, this breaks down when you stop considering “the web” as a consistent entity. For this to work, all the browser vendors have to get on board with the plan. The history of the video element and mp4 support clearly shows that if browser vendors are given a choice between market share and web openness, at least some will choose market share and user usefulness over openness, and the same debate with the same actions would likely play out over a Hixie-mandated DRM solution. There is distinct competitive advantage in your browser being able to play Hollywood blockbusters when others cannot, and at least some vendors will not give up that competitive advantage if they have a choice.

Comment by Charlie

Forgive me if I am being unbearably naive but why don’t they just try a PSK approach? Users are given content signed by their public key?

It shouldn’t matter what the content is: audio, video, text file. Cloud lockers already work like this so presumably it’s just a matter of negotiating contracts so that Google and Dropbox can start offering the service.

Comment by John Foliot

From the EME Draft Specification:

This specification does not define a content protection or Digital Rights Management system. Rather, it defines a common API that may be used to discover, select and interact with such systems as well as with simpler content encryption systems.

It is my opinion that continuing to state that this is DRM in HTML5 is perpetuating a falsehood, and is not too far off from calling the authors of this specification liars. I really wish y’all would stop (please) – take this draft spec at face value (and instead of taking others opinions, try reading it!)

I too would like to see an Option 3-like solution down the road, and rather than whining about how “data should be free” (this isn’t data, its entertainment), those same smart minds should tackle the engineering problem head-on.

@Anonymous Coward

…the web could take a more forcing approach…the web could define and decide on a DRM solution that the web’s happy with…

In many ways, that is most likely what the authors of the EME are attempting to do*. It is my belief that we are best to support those efforts, rather than chase them off, because frankly their working inside of the W3C is the best bet we have that the solution will be community supported (as opposed to wholly proprietary).

(*NOTE, this Draft spec specifically is not attempting to establish a DRM mechanism at this time – read the spec – although it is setting the stage for a possible DRM solution to be established.)

I would bristle however at any suggestion that Hixie would have a hand in this – however I strongly doubt he would even try (it was, after all, he who committed “DRM is Evil” in writing, when this topic first surfaced). I have very little faith that Hixie actually cares about consensus and true “openness” – he will tolerate “open” so long as if fits his personal vision, otherwise he chases nay-sayers away from his WHATWG club. (Case in point, he scolded Steve Faulkner about pointing the WHATWG list to the discussions around changes to <article>, because, you know, it’s questioning his genius…).

Comment by Bruce

Perhaps, John.

But the purpose of the EME spec is to define a method by which content can have DRM attached to it. So why not describe it thus?

As I said, I don’t have a problem with those who believe their business model can be protected with DRM. (I don’t have a problem with those who believe the earth is flat, either).

But I *do* have a problem with those who want to add proprietary plugins. So let’s call this the “HTML5 DRM proprietary plug-in spec”.

Comment by Thomas Sturm

After having seen how the sausage is being made in the W3C standards process and the semi-competing WHATWG, there is pretty much no chance in hell that such a standard would ever be implemented (correctly!) by all major browser vendors – which really makes this a very questionable endeavor.

What’s the point of standardizing on a DRM plugin API anyway? We’ll get some new, stronger flavor of what Silverlight currently is, and then what? It still won’t work on Linux, it will work barely on Macs and as far as the actual DRM is concerned it is trivial at this point to skim the movie content straight off the screen buffer, no matter how it got there.

I can forecast one thing for sure after having been around this block a couple of times: Everybody will be inconvenienced by whatever the DRM suppliers would like to have in browsers and the only people who won’t care are the actual media pirates.

Comment by Manu Sporny

@John Foliot,

This whole specification is about creating a DRM eco-system. I think the spec spends a great deal of time weasel wording around the concept of ‘protection’ vs. just coming out and saying that it’s a DRM plugin architecture.

While the proposal states that it is not defining a DRM plugin system, that is by far the primary purpose of the specification. While DRM isn’t explicitly required, that is what is going to use the EME specification. I haven’t seen a single non-DRM use case for EME that can’t be done with the Web stack we have today (or will before EME gets to REC).

The bottom line is that the proposal is about DRM. It’s backers are the likes of Netflix, Microsoft, Google, Comcast, etc. I make no value judgement on DRM – it’s a technology. I’ve built DRM systems. I know that you can’t often get content from content companies without them. I know the specification editors are just doing their job. However, to pretend that the spec is about ‘protection’ and not ‘DRM’ comes across as very disingenuous (criticizing the spec, not the authors).

If the goals of the specification was built around this theme, it would be less bad:

“The Web Platform needs to provide a DRM solution for content companies who believe that DRM is going to help their bottom line and customers that are willing to subject themselves to that DRM. The Web Platform is competing against walled gardens like Flash, Silverlight, and native players. If we don’t provide a solution like this, then content companies will use the more error-prone-stack and security-lax stack of proprietary plugins such as Flash or Silverlight to accomplish their goals. This is the lesser of two evils.” (where the use of ‘evil’ is used in the colloquial and not literal sense of the word).

However, it doesn’t do this and supporters of the specification keep repeating that this isn’t about DRM when it clearly is about DRM.

Comment by John Foliot

Hi Bruce,

There is no secret that the proposal is in large part related to DRM. But it’s not about defining a DRM system (or “attaching DRM”), it’s about defining a uniform API that can be used to interact with both DRM and other decryption components. That’s also different from defining a plugin architecture for DRM systems. It’s not assumed or required that CDMs will be plugins of any kind.

This spec neither mandates nor expects a plugin, and one use case is that the Content Decryption Module (CDM) can be actual hardware-based, say for example in an IP-aware television ( It might also be added to the stack at the OS level in, for example, set-top boxes ( / To therefore take the leap that this will *always* require a plugin is a leap of logic that defies the facts on the ground today.

The problem is that there has been a fair bit of FUD spread around about this proposed bit of technology (a simple API really) due to some moral posturing around whether or not content on the web should be “free”, as if protecting the distribution of, and profiting from a creative work is somehow wrong. I personally cannot accept that presumption.

I also believe that the problem surrounding digital theft is being conveniently swept under the carpet here. From Pirate Bay and isoHunt to 4Shared and Pastebin (and countless others), there is a systematic and widespread theft problem that is rampant on the internet. “DRM” may have its issues (and I accept that there are issues), but until the engineers that decry DRM can come back with a better technical solution, out-right rejection is not (to me) an option. Failing to work on a technical solution leaves open the door to other types of efforts to control this theft, including SOPA and PIPA efforts, which to my mind are far worse than DRM efforts underway. It comes down to choosing our poison.

Comment by Bruce

Hi John,

as I’ve said, if people think that DRM protects their business, then let them try it. The music industry seems to have given up on that, and appears to be thriving, but I’m not a business guy.

What concerns me is that customers on Linux, or using minority browsers might wish to pay for content but be unable to because those who make CDMs don’t make it for that platform.

In short: I’m not for everyone having access to everything for free. I’m supporting everyone having an equal opportunity to purchase the content that’s on offer.

Not that my opinion will prevent anything of course; too many big organisations behind it.

Comment by John Foliot


So we are a lot closer than some might think. I also think that if platforms are going to have even half-a-chance in building CDM solutions that can work for their platforms, that doing as much of that work inside of the W3C is a far better choice than having that work happen in even more closed environments. At least at the W3C the work is done in the open, and is already covered by patent-troll protection.

Better the devil we know, than the one we don’t. It is primarily for this reason that I supported the CFC to publish this as a FPWD – it is the ‘openess’ process in action.

Cheers mate!

Comment by Stuart Langridge


I think (and I’m trying to not wilfully misinterpret here) that you’re underestimating the problem of having a mechanism for substitutable DRM at all. I’m not too sure about the analogy I’m about to make here, but I think it summarises my thoughts. Imagine that, back in the early days of the web, someone had said: hey, there are loads of different image formats. Let’s provide an Image Format Plugin hook in browsers; then, we’ll be able to have everyone implement support for the image format they prefer, and the market will decide which ones are best. Then, MySpace, who are huge (at that point) invent the MySpace Custom Image Format, convert all the images on their site to use it, and do a deal with Microsoft so that IE ships the MCIF image plugin by default. So people posting images from MySpace on Friendster are posting MCIF images, and those unlucky people running Netscape 4 can’t see those images. The web is split in half. I can imagine Bruce saying, at that point: why, oh why didn’t those early web definers just mandate a couple of formats, like JPEG and GIF? Then we wouldn’t have this problem!

Creating a way to plug in everyone’s existing DRM system to the web is *not* a forcing approach. I’m not suggesting that we stop DRM as a concept. What I *am* suggesting is that attempting to work with existing players in this market has not produced anything that will work with the web. So, the web should implement one DRM system that *does* work with the web — it’s implementable everywhere, it’s documented, it’s not under the aegis of one single company, just as all other actual web technologies are — and then once it’s out there and deployed on a billion devices, then say: hey, people who want to protect their creative output, instead of trying to use ten different systems to do that, just use the web! Just like you do for your website!

Nobody decided to publish albums in iTunes because they thought FairPlay DRM was technically superior. They did it because they wanted *some* DRM as a baseline, and millions of users were already using iTunes. Well, millions of users are already using the web.

Comment by Stuart Langridge

Although, to be clear, I think at least some of John’s point is that it’s all well and good saying “look, if this web-implementable DRM system existed” but no-one’s actually stepped up to create one, and he’s right. Project Dream attempted to do something like this a few years back, and got adoption statistically indistinguishable from zero and thus was abandoned. Since it *was* open and reimplementable, perhaps it could be revitalised, but I admit that I don’t know enough about the details to state that, and perhaps that I’m making pronouncements while in that position is part of John’s argument (and a correct part, at that).

Comment by mattur

A Proprietary DRM player uses Proprietary DRM technology to legally unlock content. Implementing the Proprietary DRM technology requires signing a LEGAL AGREEMENT with the Proprietary DRM technology’s owner. The LEGAL AGREEMENT requires, amongst other things, deliberately limiting what the player can do with the content once it is unlocked e.g. watch for 7 days. So Proprietary DRM imposes controls on the content and the player.

An Open DRM player uses Open DRM technology to legally unlock content. Implementing Open DRM technology by definition doesn’t require signing a LEGAL AGREEMENT, so sandal-wearing open source hippies get to decide what the player can do with the content once it is unlocked e.g. make unauthorised digital copies, which is of course what the DRM system is supposed to be preventing.

So Open DRM is a non-starter for people who are pushing DRM at w3c, because they want to limit what you can do with the content after you’ve bought and unlocked it, which requires controlling the player.

Comment by John Foliot

@Stuart, @Bruce, @Manu,

What John Simmons said here:

We have 2 choices: allow this work to coninue under the big tent of the W3C, or the players most concerned about streaming their content over the network will go off and do their work elsewere. Moral indignation and outrage will not stop this train it’s already left the station

Stuart, I think you have proposed a great idea, but the problem is, who is working on it? (and thank you for recognizing this problem)

On one hand we have a group of smart, hard-working, task-driven engineers (working inside of the W3C, under W3C patent policy, etc.) that are working on exactly what you want: a broad-based, community informed goal, of which EME is but the first part. On the other hand, we have “The Web Must Be Free” advocates that conveniently dismiss the business need that *is* Content Protection, and start jumping up and down about how evil DRM is, without actually engaging in the discourse with anything particularly useful towards solving the problem.

It is fair to suggest that any current path is a poor path, or the wrong path (XHTML2), but until *somebody* starts blazing and developing a new path, a “better” path, all the anti-EME grandstanding isn’t worth a hill of beans.

There is an old expression (and with no offense intended to you Stuart, Bruce, or Manu) that states “Put up or shut up”.

The DRM in HTML5 discussion is a classic case in point.

Comment by James

John: Not that you will ever read this, but there is no second part. Google and Netflix are using Widevine as the CDM, why would they bother making anything else, particularly an open standard? That’s the train that has left the station, they can go and play with their own trainset rather than pretending to be open in ours.

An open source CDM is basically pointless anyway, as the whole point of DRM is to somehow work around the fact you are giving the player the key and the content and not letting them decrypt it themselves. No real content that demands DRM would accept it.

Payment online is obviously a business need, but I don’t see HTTP status 402 being used – there are other solutions that didn’t need to be standardised by W3C.

Comment by John Foliot

Actually James, I do read follow-up comments.

Question for you: have you bothered to read the EME Draft Specification? Or do you simply take the word of some media and anti-DRM advocates that the sky is falling?

As others have pointed out, one of the goals of rights managements is just that, the ability to manage the contractual rights a consumer enters into with the vendor of digital media (entertainment) – aka Premium Content. Those rights are clear, specific, and detailed: you have the right to view/listen to/consume the media you are licensing (note, *Licensing*, not *Buying*) under an “offer of license“, and you as the consumer have the choice to enter into that contract, or not. It is the content owners however who get to set the terms of that contract (as they own the content), and not the purchaser(*); if you do not like the terms of offer, you can refuse. (This is not unlike purchasing a car or a home except in those types of purchase negotiation, actual negotiation can happen: offer, counter-offer, counter-counter-offer, etc.). The moment you agree to the price however, you are also agreeing to the terms of the contract, so if you “buy” your Game of Thrones DVD for $20.00 (or whatever), then with that purchase you agree to all the other conditions. Read the Fine Print: caveat emptor.

Various *Distributors* of this content, under similar contract to the owners of that content, agree to distribute said content under specific conditions. One of their contractual obligations is to ensure that there is a secure and managed delivery channel, protecting the value and re-sale-ability of that content. The do so using a CDM system, which can and likely will be a closed ecosystem/technology, as there is a need to PROTECT part of that system: Widevine being one such system. However (and this is the really important part) Widevine is not a W3C specification or technology. HOWEVER, with the implementation of EME, *all* browsers can interact with the Widevine system using a common API. How can that be a step backwards?

I get that for a lot of web activists, anything that restricts the end user from manipulating their digital bits and bytes is an affront to their sensibilities. But, please, do remember that the original owner of said bits and bytes have the right to set out the terms of how they share those bits and bytes, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a technology that aids in the enforcement of those rights. The trick, as always, is to make it work as seamlessly as possible for the end user: a goal I believe that EME is setting out to reach.

(* If you are of the mind that this sucks, well, perhaps. But there is nothing illegal or immoral about setting out terms of a contract, as both parties are free to enter into that contract, or refuse to do so. If you really want to change the distribution model, then stop paying for content that uses such contractual models. *DONT* buy Game of Thrones, *DON’T* purchase a Netflix subscription, *DON’T* rent DVD’s, etc. Vote with your feet, don’t whine on about how the W3C is facilitating some kind of evil conspiracy.)

Comment by James

Good to know you do read the comments. I did have a brief of the spec, but once I read the CDM is basically another binary plugin I stopped paying attention. I don’t buy Game of Thrones, can’t subscribe to Netflix (being in Australia), don’t rent DVDs, or consume much media at all. I do use YouTube, but don’t have Flash installed. Despite the existence of YouTube downloaders, the large majority of their users still just use the website, and they continue to make billions in ad money for their content owners.

I see the BBC is thinking of banning AirPlay with its CDM, perhaps because you could send it to a computer running XBMC and capture the output. Why can’t they just rely on the honest user not violating the license agreement instead of persisting with overwrought technical solutions that just harm the user? And suing those who violate that license?

“there is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a technology that aids in the enforcement of those rights.” I guess this is where we disagree. There is something wrong, it’s not totally wrong but wrong enough to be worth fighting against getting into HTML5. W3C is supposed to promote open standards, and while that’s more about process, promoting a standard which explicitly relies on something that can only be usefully implemented by a few parties seems to be against that goal.

Comment by Michael Grey

John, “I want to say that I think you are part of the problem, on the whole, that is what is wrong with society today. I’m sick to death of people that think that “it’s just the way it is” should be normal. I’m old enough to remember before “intellectual property” and absolutely abhor the concept, implementation, and usage that perpetuates society and my life today. Do you remember the internet before the “commercials”, the “ads”? This was not invented as a way for you to make money off of me but, rather, as a way to share information openly and without restriction. The W3C is a joke and should be relagated as a hiccup in the way things were. Do you also remember the browser war? How hard it was to extricate Microsoft from the proprietary nature of the web? Do you think that this would be a good thing to re-introduce? Fools that we are to think that those that make money off of our purchases wish us goodwill. It has come to my mind that we need to fork the web. Here is my quote, from you, that made me angry enough to write this:

Failing to work on a technical solution leaves open the door to other types of efforts to control this theft, including SOPA and PIPA efforts, which to my mind are far worse than DRM efforts underway. It comes down to choosing our poison.

First, theft! Fuck you and your content. If you don’t want it pirated, don’t digitize it.
SOPA, PIPA! Brought to you by those with money for those without.
Now! For the finale! I bring you the top 10 poisons. Choose a lethal dose:

10) Hemlock
9) Aconite
8) Belladonna
7) Dimethylmercury
6) Tetrodotoxin
5) Polonium
4) Mercury
3) Cyanide
2) Botulinum Toxin
1) Arsenic

It is time to fork the web and do it in a manner that’s open, regardless. Fine, you have money. I’m happy for you. Don’t fuck up my experience with your proprietary cruft.

I never do this because it’s bad business: Jon Foliot, you’ve lived in California too long and have drunk the coolaid of those that want to limit vs those that help. On a side note: I’ll fight you physically if this helps you feel better about your position. I won’t apologize for that!!!!!

Comment by John Foliot


Thank you for your reasoned, articulate, insightful and lucid response. It is exactly this kind of reaction from knee-jerk anti-DRM zealots that strengthens the pro-DRM proponents’ arguments: those that are against any form of Entertainment Content protection are completely disconnected from the real world.

Given your concerns over the evolution of the web, coupled with your comments regarding the browser wars, might I suggest the following browser solution, which will sidestep all of the issues you seem to have with digital entertainment today:

Comment by Michael Grey

Knee jerk? I hope that you are kidding. Did you read what I wrote? This is reason speaking from the past, before there were people making money off of this, of which I’m one that is trying do do such a thing. I went to your blog. “
…my perspective – without apology

Random Thoughts
Web Accessibility

DRM at the W3C? Not such a Bad Idea.”

“The Unpopular Position: Recently, another fear-mongering, not-quite-correct anti-DRM article was posted over at I’ve pretty much had it with the amount of FUD being propagated around the web on this topic, and so against my better judgment (OK, maybe not), I am about to set out and articulate the other perspective.”

You either work for or are vested in those that want vehemently to take away the rights of those that don’t pay you whatever you think your fair share is. Enough said by me, you’re own words speak for themselves.

As for DRM: Yes, I am against it. As for advertising, yes, I am against it. Do you remeber before your daughter “needed” an IPHONE?!? I’m sick of this crap. Enough is enough about controlling my content because you don’t make enough of your billions.

Comment by Michael Grey

I stand by my last comment the post before the post before this. I don’t like your reasoning and I’ll literally fight you over your position. I’m tired of watered down arguments over what’s right and wrong and I’ll back it up with everything I have. You’re twice my size and yet I’ll still meet you on this. I’ll meet Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, or anybody else on my stance with this. Enough is enough with your money means more than mine just because you have more. The world has been destroyed by this “Global economy”. You know it, I know it, and everyone else knows it. Wake up man, There can be another Google but they will be destroyed by the “patent” lawsuits just because they can’t afford to fight it. The real question is “who needs DRM?”

Comment by John Foliot

Michael wrote:

“…that don’t pay you whatever you think your fair share is.”

OK, so I guess then that you are against the Free Market economy system. That is your right – I draw the line however when you seek to impose that philosophy on me.

My basic assertion stands: commercial entertainment producers want/need/require a means to limit the theft of their commercial products. The technical work to achieve that user-requirement can and is happening. It can happen in a smoke filled back room, or it can happen in the relatively open-for-scrutiny framework of the W3C. Either way, the work will happen, so choose your path.

I also want to point out that for the majority of law-abiding netizens out there that simply want to enjoy their movie/tv show/etc. today, using existing DRM-enabled solutions such as Flash and Silverlight, their “experience” is both relatively pain-free and simple: for them, it just works. They understand that when they “pay” to watch a Hollywood movie via an on-demand system, that they haven’t “bought” that movie (any more than an admission ticket to the movie theater granted them that same right-of-purchase).

You might not like the way that the Internet has evolved, but then I don’t like the fact that cretinous trolls such as yourself can verbally attack me [sic] via the web for having a different opinion either, but I accept that this is how the web has evolved, controlled by the will of the masses – all of them, not just those who share your particular vision of how the web MUST be.

I’m done.

Comment by Michael Grey

I’m not against free market, I’m against hijacking whatever you like to turn it into that to your profit. The internet wasn’t invented as a “for profit” system and yet it was hijacked by those that want to use it as such. So was programming and programs. See BG’s comments on such. I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with, as a user before this happened, is that those with money can and do manipulate the standards so that they and no one else can participate. Have you looked up how much it costs to be a member of the W3C?

If you don’t want your property being stolen, don’t digitize it. Plain and simple that. No algorithm will ever stop a determined individual. If it can be written, it can be cracked. Stop trying to say that it’s the fault of everyone else that your “property” is being stolen. You put it out there, your bad. My path is chosen and I choose to fight on the side of the fork. When and if it happens, I’ll be there. I hope that it has a non-commercial license.

I am a law-abiding netizen and my “FLASH AND SILVERLIGHT” experience has been nothing but enjoyable as I have used GNU/Linux since the year of its inception. As Bruce has so eloquently pointed out, we are and have been left out in the cold with these solutions. Silverlight doesn’t work at all for me and flash is an abysmal concept. Both of them are actually. What do you have out there that requires a DRM solution might I ask? A tutorial on CSS that requires a subscription? No thanks. I will give away my code for free and I hope that it puts a thorn in the side of everyone that charges to obfusticate the learned. This is how it was intended and this is how I roll. MIT license for a reset CSS, are you kidding me?

Evolved is a pretentious word for something that has been so clearly bought. I may be a cretin but I will back up my trollism Tolkein style as I have put it so very clearly. [sic] that! Your opinion matters just as much as mine but I will never back down from the core matter of the fact that big money has, does, and will write the standards to benefit themselves and you or I don’t matter in this regard. The masses didn’t want this, money does. Ask someone that has no idea what HTML5, CSS3 or WHATWG is. Ask them if they like the fact that Netflix has no good movies anymore just because they think they don’t make enough. I predict Netflix will go out of business “bubble style” due to the fact that they can’t please the shareholders. Know why? People leave when they can’t see what they want regardless of the encryption. I’m a Netflix subscriber and I hate that I have to wait for a DVD. Where is the on demand? Where is the content that I can pay for? It used to be at Blockbuster but where is it now smart man? Lack of DRM? I can’t even rent a DVD now except Red Box, hmmm.

So am I.

Comment by bruce

@Michael Grey

you said

“I’ll fight you physically if this helps you feel better about your position. I won’t apologize for that!!!!!”

– you’re being stupid when you say that. Please, speak civilly. Your points are not enhanced or emphasised by this kind of silliness.


Comment by Michael Grey

Yeah, I’m sorry Bruce. I just get really angry at the “lesser of two evils” arguments. I apologize to everyone else as well. Even JF. It was foolish to let such a thing get to me as much as it did. I still happen to think that integrating this into the specs is a bad idea. EME and DRM are the same thing in my mind. Encrypted media extensions vs. digital rights management. Who amongst us can look at those two phrases side by side and not think they are the same thing? There are good uses to encryption, I can’t argue that. Honestly, who here thinks that this isn’t going to be used as a way to make more money for those that have more than they already need or could want? Fine, encrypt your content but stop taking an open spec and manipulating it towards closed. Same thing has happened with governmental power. All of a sudden it’s ok to kill without trial if you are deemed a terrorist. Everyone looks away and yet the action is still illegal but no one that can, will prosecute and no one that wants to can. This is about money and power and no one that would use this isn’t already both in my mind.

Comment by oiaohm

I already have the case of being forced to use Chrome under Linux to access particular sites because an extention called flash does not support anything other than Chrome fully.

From my point of view plugins should die.

Comment by Kevin Krammer

Just in case John still reads follow up comments here, I’d like to ask if he could clarify something that looks like a contradiction between two of his comments.

On January 30th he wrote ” It’s not assumed or required that CDMs will be plugins of any kind.” and “This spec neither mandates nor expects a plugin…”

On April 16th he wrote “HOWEVER, with the implementation of EME, *all* browsers can interact with the Widevine system using a common API.”

From my point of view the latter can’t be true if the former is. If Google implements Widevine as part of, say, Chrome, which according to the earlier comment would be an allowed choice, how would any other browser, say Internet Explorer or Firefox, access Widevine?

Has the specification been changed between January and April that made the older comment no longer applicable?

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