After years of insisting that DRM in HTML wouldn't block open source implementations, Google says it won't support open source implementations

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/03/i-hate-being-right-2.html

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#2

I’m shocked, shocked, at this completely predictable outcome.

Obviously you can’t hand the DRM keys to open source projects–they’ll use it to bypass your DRM! Or use it in ways that you didn’t intend and possibly miss out on some opportunity to monetize it. The media cartels fought long and hard to wrest control back from the Internet, and they’re not going to give it up because some guy wants to watch the same video as his girlfriend.

Anybody who said open source projects would get access to the DRM was lying. Go back and look who was saying that so you know who not to trust in the future.

14 Likes
#3

Paging redesigned, who always used to chime in on this stuff and disagree with Cory.

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#4

Didn’t Google get rid of their “don’t be evil” company statement?

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#5

He already didn’t trust them, so that’s no loss.

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#6

Apparently they only dropped the “Don’t” part.

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#NeedsMoreLikes
#7

Just wait until they decide to drop the “be” part, too. Then we’re really gonna know what it’s like to hurt.

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#8

We are Google! Fear us!

image

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#9

Unfortunately a few are probably telling the truth; and they have darker designs in mind.

With tivoization and ‘secure remote attestation’ it is entirely possible to have open source DRM implementations that are at least as user hostile as the standard obfuscated binary ones(potentially even more durable); and technically fulfill the condition of providing the source code without making that useful.

So long as the DRM system can inquire exactly what build of the client it is interacting with and who signed it(which is the whole point of remote attestation) you can have the source and build a freedom cake with freedom frosting and generally knock yourself out and it won’t matter because nobody will talk to your version unless you somehow score a major vendor’s signing key.

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#10

That was always just a catchphrase.

#11

There was hidden text in that.

Don’t be evil, unless you really really want to, then go for it baby! Bwahahahaha!

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#12

Is it fair to say that the W3C is complicit, and if so is it time to wrest control of web standards from the W3C? Does the EFF (or any other body) have the clout to do that?

edited to add: This prognostic post from Cory is good explanation of how we got here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/open-letter-w3c-director-ceo-team-and-membership

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#13

It’s also fair to say that the W3C’s power in this matter is limited. If they made a standard that didn’t meet the requirements of the media cartels then every browser manufacturer would just have to implement some nonstandard solution instead. Ultimately it’s not the W3C that decides on DRM standards, it’s Disney, Warner, etc… The people who actually control the content.

closed #14

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