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W3C Declares DRM In-Scope For HTML 290

FredAndrews writes "The W3C has ruled DRM in-scope for their HTML standard. A lot of big businesses have supported advancing the Encrypted Media Extension, including Google, Microsoft, and Netfix. The BBC calls for a solution with legal sanctions. The EME could well be used to implement a DRM HTML engine. A DRM-enabled web would break a long tradition of the web browser being the User's Agent, and would restrict user choice and control over their security and privacy. There are other applications that can serve the purpose of viewing DRM video content, and I appeal to people to not taint the web standards with DRM but to please use other applications when necessary." Looks like the web is becoming more like Xanadu, but not in a good way.
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W3C Declares DRM In-Scope For HTML

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  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:29AM (#42870355)

    In other words there should be a "copyright" field in the metadata, so there is no doubt about it.

    Ah .. so they finally want to implement the (almost) ten year old RFC 3514 [] IPv4 header!

  • Re:Trust Us (Score:4, Informative)

    by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:31AM (#42870383)

    Well, so much for open-source W3C-compliant browsers.

    The linked BBC email says:

    Previous discussions on the W3C mailing list have looked at if the CDM itself should be defined or mandated to be open-source. We do not believe this would be helpful, primarily because it is difficult to see how an open-source CDM would have any hope of staying secure for any length of time at all. However, we would evaluate any open-source solution that did come along fairly against our criteria, and hope that adoption of a standard like the Encrypted Media Proposal will increase the amount of vendors offering CDM modules from the number of plug-in vendors that exist today as there would be a lower cost of entry. This may enable an open-source solution that we have not yet conceived to come to market.

    That suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of encryption.

    On another point, the BBC mentions the revenue from selling DVD and audio recordings -- the profit from this is £182M []. That compares to £3606M [] of income from license payers, at £145.50 each, thus about 25M licenses are sold. If every licence-payer paid an extra £7 we wouldn't need to protect that content. (Have I calculated that correctly?)

    (Other broadcasters with different funding models might still want this system.)

  • "However, the BBC is unlikely to be able to use any such mechanism unless we feel that it is sufficiently secure that there would be the possibility of legal action in the event of bypassing it."

    Not sure why you would defend the BBC, but that is pretty much the definition of a sanction. In fact it states quite clearly that the BBC is less interested in about how good the DRM is [they expect it to be broken], but whether anti-circumvention provisions is protected by law e.g. DMCA. It is just focused on stopping the people forced to pay for service in the UK having unrestricted access to the content they paid for.

    The BBC has a rather bonkers idea about DRM anyway. For example, HD Freesat receivers are required to implemtn DRM on their output (i.e. HDCP on the HD output, no analogue HD output, etc.), even though the DVB-S signal they are receiving is transmitted in the clear anyway. All it does is inconvenience legitimate consumers - anyone planning on copyright infringement is going to find it more trivial to record the raw DVB-S stream rather than an HDMI stream anyway.

    Similarly, iPlayer's DRM is so weak as to be completely useless, and yet they still use it and therefore insist on using the terrible Flash player instead of making the video streams available in a standard format that would work on all platforms. (The flash player is so bad that I invariably just use get_iplayer and then play it with mplayer).

  • by fritsd ( 924429 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:29AM (#42870885) Journal
    Here, read this: [], this person puts it very clearly: WTF is the W3C doing trying to *hinder* an open accessible web? DRM is against what their purpose in life as an organisation is.

    Did "the Director" die, or something??
  • by AwaxSlashdot ( 600672 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:53AM (#42871143) Homepage Journal

    The proposal is to extend HTMLMediaElement (which is an ALREADY existing part of HTML) so it supports DRM in a standard way.
    HTMLMediaElement is a specific DOM element that correspond to media elements (audio, video) and extends the standard element with media specific features: play, pause, length, volume, etc ...

    The proposal is to recognize that DRMs are an widespread feature used in conjunction with media elements. As such, it is worth standardizing.

    If the DOM accepts having play/pause features on a media element, it could also support DRM methods on a specialization of this element.

    As you said, the implementation and enforcement of DRM is EXTERNAL to the DOM/HTML. Have you read the proposal ? I guess you didn't because the ONLY thing this proposal adds is a bunch of events and methods to allow javascript to provide the key to decrypt an encrypted flow.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.