Podcast: Firefox’s adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart


#1

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#2

I’m not a techie, so I find myself wondering just what the repercussions would have been if they’d said hell no. Would Firefox users be forced to switch over to IE to watch Netflix? Because that seems like a much much better solution than just waiving their principles. Or are they planning to so thoroughly break the internet that whatever the hell the current version is (that menu of icons refuses to tell me) would be unable to read BoingBoing or… I dunno… some page that’s ten years old?


#3

I think we need browser plugins that block DRM content, just so the user knows what the site they are on uses DRM and the user can then allow it or not.


#4

I think we need browser plugins that block DRM content, just so the user
knows what the site they are on uses DRM and the user can then allow it
or not.

I think is a good idea. Perhaps as an add-on, maybe even including the option to include a message back to the DRM-enforcing site?


#5

I briefly read Mozilla’s response to this controversy. They say they’re not requiring anyone to install the DRM infected add-on and further that it is directly analogous to installing Flash player. This sounds reasonable to me. It seems as though Cory’s position is that it shouldn’t be an option even for users that want it.

Is there another perspective to this that I’m missing?


#6

Is there another perspective to this that I’m missing?

It’s about principles and slippery slopes, not just implementation.

More:


#7

It’s because this is a new implementation incorporated directly into HTML 5, isn’t it? And we’d like Mozilla to take a stand and declare that their browser simply will not be compatible with sites that employ that DRM?
I can understand that. Really. I’ve taken a few positions on principle myself. I’m sure this has been hashed out elsewhere but aren’t we asking Mozilla to martyr themselves for this? Doesn’t rejecting this standard mean it’s likely a whole bunch of popular services available on the internet won’t work in Firefox? Do you really think there are enough principled users who will respect their stand to keep them afloat?


#8

Do you really think there are enough principled users who will respect their stand to keep them afloat?

Most people that are smart enough to choose Firefox in the first place (even if they are less principled) aren’t the type of people to ditch it along with all of its custom add-ons just so they can watch a Netflix movie. With today’s cheap storage, it’s trivial to install an app to play DRM streams alongside Firefox.

Besides, principled civil rights activists have been in this position many times before in the past. Often they are in the minority in the beginning and pay a price for their principled stands, but that doesn’t stop them. I’m thankful people in the civil rights movement didn’t submit to overwhelming peer pressure, stuck to their principles and kept up the fight… or we’d be in a much worse world today.

Firefox has a good amount of market share and it would have been bad for DRM advocates if Mozilla would have stuck to their principles. Developers would’ve been less compelled to implement DRM video for the sake of overall browser compatibility.

Once again, this isn’t about implementation, it’s about principles. If basing choices on principles was always the best, short term business decision, we’d see a lot different behavior from many corporations.

And, DRM isn’t about protecting copyright. More on this here:


aren’t we asking Mozilla to martyr themselves for this?

I don’t think so, but standing for principles often involves taking some risks, not hedging one’s bets. Forsaking one’s principles is another thing entirely, however.


#9

I don’t think I entirely agree with you but I appreciate your considered response.


#10

I don’t entirely agree with me either! :smiley:

Er, in other words, I don’t entirely agree with all the negative reactions to Mozilla’s move either, but I can understand the concern over principles, etc. when it comes to fighting DRM (and why). I was relieved to see that Mozilla chose opt-in, not opt-out or mandatory, for example.


#12

Come-on get a grip, there are plenty of examples were free software abiding software projects have used closed source software, a prime example is Linux, on Linux you can choose to use closed sourced drivers or open-source drivers, the proprietary drivers deliver better performance and reliability. Drivers are not the only example ; you have browser plugins on Linux like Flash, you have open-sourced equivalents like Gnash, but they are not up to par, Firefox implemented this so that it doesn’t get left behind in standard compliance, it’s not the end of the world if you used closed sourced software, VLC player another prime example has support for proprietary codecs and standards, otherwise what use would VLC be if it can’t play WMWs or AVIs (not to say now that these formats are the only ones which are used)


#13

If you [quote=“LordInsidious, post:3, topic:31864, full:true”]
I think we need browser plugins that block DRM content, just so the user knows what the site they are on uses DRM and the user can then allow it or not.
[/quote]

You realize that if you don’t install the DRM plugin, this is exactly what will happen on a site using DRM content, right?


#14

No I thought it was going to be baked right into the browser.


#15

I guess folks should read up on what is actually going to happen before commenting?


#16

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