MIT panel on the W3C's decision to make DRM part of the Web's "open" standards

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Tim Berners-Lee. You are like a band that once produced amazing music but became fat and lazy and now relies on the strength of their back catalog to garner attention and respect.


Not to derail or OT the thread, just wanted to say Danny O’Brien’s a personal hero ever since the Need To Know era and it’s great to see someone so capable, clued-in and experienced doing this kind of important work with the EFF.

(Plus @doctorow too, of course!)

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well, he has been knighted after all.

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Hello @doctorow

Again, W3C is not “standardizing a DRM system called EME” – W3C is standardizing EME, an API that enables playback of encrypted audio and video on the Web.

We’ve recently clarified definitions and current activities regarding Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), and corrected misconceptions about “EME putting DRM in HTML”.

EME does not create nor impose 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.

EME is not required for compliance with the HTML specification. Web browser support for EME is optional; if a browser does not support encrypted media, it will not be able to play encrypted media. Most major browsers - Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Firefox - already implement EME API even though it is not yet a W3C standard. Some browsers implement EME natively and some have a sandboxed solution.

The goal of EME is to replace non-interoperable private content protection APIs. By ensuring better security, privacy, and accessibility around those mechanisms, as well as having those discussions at W3C which upholds the OpenStand principles for modern standards, EME provides more secure interfaces for license and key exchanges by sandboxing the underlying content decryption modules.


One more thing, for content protected by DRM, you needed DRM before and after EME. And for content not protected by DRM, you don’t need DRM before and after EME. The statement that as a result of EME “you can only make a browser that can receive videos restricted with EME if you get permission from the entertainment companies” is misleading. There is no W3C requirement that a browser implement EME.


There seemed to be a lot of talk in 2013 about the Web being destroyed when the EME work went forward at the W3C but this now seems very much exaggerated. Despite cries of doom, the W3C continued to work to make the Web, as it exists, better for users. I have great confidence that although there is now renewed discussion of dire consequences and even accusations that the W3C is working against, not for, innovation on the Web, that in another three years (and further into the future) the slow but important and earnest work of improving the Web and enabling innovation will be as undramatic but as real.

that you?

I do like comments from involved persons, but it shouldn’t sound like a press release.


And it looks like @koalie is also with W3C?

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she admitted as much by using “we,” unlike @amyvdh


Ah, thanks, I missed that.


Yes, sorry I didn’t think to state it; I thought sharing the EME fact sheet document I signed was sufficient. I am with the W3C, Head of W3C Communications.


I was giving a personal opinion not an official statement.

I guess some people forgot about Aaron Swartz & what he stood for & why they supported him. Bet you bottom dollar he’d be against this …how things change :frowning:

Who are you talking about? So Swartz would be against this and some unnamed people now support this at the W3C and they had previously supported him? What are you actually trying to say here and about whom?

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