Nokia to W3C: Ogg is proprietary, we need DRM on the Web

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4 Responses to “Nokia to W3C: Ogg is proprietary, we need DRM on the Web”

  1. Huffers says:

    The problem with DRM systems at the moment, I find, is that they ensure that the vendor (eg. Sony) can ‘trust’ the customer (eg. you) not to mess around with their stuff – but the customer can’t trust that the vendor can’t mess around with their stuff (steal information about you, mess about with your computer, etc).

    I’d love to see an open-source system with “mutual-trust”. Where you only give certain vendors certain rights to your machine, and you only give up certain rights (eg. emailing a certain mp3 to your friends) which you agree to. I don’t know if this is even possible, but I suppose it could work with hardware support and checksums of the kernel or something.

    The problem is – without this, I predict less and less software will work on open-source systems – because company’s want to have the freedom to choose how they sell their media. And because of open-source developer’s refusal to have anything to do with DRM, everyone will end up signing over every right to their computer, just to play the next generation of BioShock (or whatever).

  2. ollywompus says:

    Nokia has such a bizarre relationship with Open Source tech in general. Their internet tablets are great (I own the N800), and they’ve done a reasonably good job in fostering a vibrant and productive community around Maemo.

    On the other side of the coin their S60 handsets aren’t open source (obviously, since they are running Symbian), and have been in fact MORE locked down over the last couple of years (in the name of ‘security’ with their Symbian Signed crap).

    I think what we see with things like the Ogg oddity is that, like every large corporation, the left hand often doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

    In Nokia you’ve got the S60 faction, the general handset (S40) faction, the web tablet guys, the content guys (working on Ovi, N-Gage, etc)… all of them are doing their own projects, and all of these projects are pretty good individually (with their share of flaws, of course), but they don’t seem to talk to each other much.

    It’s almost like watching a new version of IBM in the 80′s!

    -olly

  3. Ralph Giles says:

    The faction description of Nokia’s relationship with Open Source has been my experience as well. There certainly are people at Nokia who understand and are committed to open development, but their efforts are counter to established policy and culture.

    I’ve got a Nokia internet tablet too. And I note that while the base of the software stack is open source, and you can install anything you like, it doesn’t play Ogg files out of the box!

    On the complaint that Ogg doesn’t support DRM, I’ve long suggested facetiously that it does, but I’m starting to wish someone would actually implement that. After all, DRM is a feature of playback software, not data formats, and a simple “DRM=nocopy” in the metadata header is as effective a technological access control as any other.

    But I don’t know how to unpack statements like “any DRM-incompatible video related mechanism is a non-starter with the content industry”. I’ve heard the opinion expressed that “the content industry” has heard Open Source and DRM are incompatible and therefore they’d never allow their destributors to use a format developed by the open source community. (I understand they avoid having websites for similar reasons. :)

    Sun does have an Open Source DRM initiative. It’s tremendously vague on the technical details, perhaps to maintain the doublethink that’s necessary to think of DRM as a technology. But it might be a way forward with people who still believe they need the snake oil.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got a Nokia internet tablet. And I note that while the base of the software stack is open source, and you can install anything you like, it doesn’t play Ogg files out of the box!

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