Reply All covers DRM and the W3C

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Excited to hear them tackle the topic but they butchered it pretty bad. Surprising because they are typically very good and explaining complex topics. Not sure what the problem on this one was.


  • they did a poor job of explaining the role of the W3C in the internet standards process.
  • they mischaracterized silverlight and by association flash as just video players. That is by far the largest use but mainly due to the lack of browser support for DRM. The are just extension mechanisms that allow publishers to do things they can’t do in the browser.
  • they conflated the DMCA and general copyright. Copyrights in general aren’t the problem. The DMCA is.
  • I am not a fan of DRM at all but ultimately it is the only thing that has allowed things like Spotify, Netflix, etc. I like those things. I don’t however like a closed source ecosystem with proprietary protocols. If implemented it needs to be implemented in an open source fashion that still protects the content. Most web traffic is secured with SSL/TLS of which there are interoperable open source implementations. How is DRM different?

The poscast wasn’t that great, but unsurprisingly, the blog post by Tim Berners-Lee is very well written and thought out. His assessment is spot on.

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