Tim Berners-Lee: The Web needs to stay open, but DRM is fine by me


12 Responses to “Tim Berners-Lee: The Web needs to stay open, but DRM is fine by me”

  1. ophmarketing says:

    Granted, he was no Isaac–or even Doc. And he certainly couldn’t hold a candle to Julie McCoy… but I see no reason to keep bashing Gopher.

  2. If you are putting the “hooks in” for that DRM stuff it’ll get wildly missused to:

    - Install rootkits on users machines
    - Start off another format war
    - Kneecap the competition
    - Eradicate any user privacy and security

    People just going to flash is the lesser of two weevils.

    • bardfinn says:

      There’s two distinct classes of “DRM”, as practised, today -

      The DRM embodied in Second Life’s platform, where the client enforces restrictions set by the vendor, including whether further revendors can set restrictions, mash up, resell, charge, etcetera etcetera etcetera, but which someone can (largely) (if not strictly legally) get around if they choose, ensuring they are cognisant of the implications of their actions;

      The DRM embodied in ebooks and music, which is an excuse for installing root kits, format wars, locking up distribution channels, and obliterating respect for customers and usability, with life-ruining consequences for being even accused of approaching the fence.

      One is the equivalent of a sign and a screen door; the other is a high-voltage fence.

      • We’re talking about the electric fence kind with HTML.

        Broadcasters like the BBC have explicitely desired its definition to be legally enforcable. They are explicitely cooperating with microsoft, netflix, google and apple to lock down your computer so you will not have a chance to grab frames from the DRMed video. Which will end in the rootkit kind of scenario and all that other stuff. Netflix is cooperating with the MPAA and MPEG-LA to create formats to exclude its competitors from the market. The big four (Sony foremost) are already drafting contracts for netflix (and others) to exclude their content if one of the HTML-DRM implementations should fall prey to pwns.

        We’re talking the electric fence kind of DRM squared. This is the DRM to end all DRMs, and they will push browser vendors to bundle the rootkit with their browsers. Mozilla is already running up the walls for probably being forbidden to even talk to the DRM runtimes the loonies from the MAFIAA are proposing.

        • bardfinn says:

          “… should [the implementations] fall prey to pwns”

          And of course, they will : history has demonstrated again and again that somebody, somewhere, will divulge or discover the inevitably-purposely-kneecapped encryption keys used by the “trusted computing architecture” to authenticate – whether that’s an XOR’d byte sequence dumped from the ROM of a consumer product (AirPlay) or a collision-prone implementation (hdmi?) or a disgruntled employee or a third-party vendor, or just pure crackability (CSS(DVD encryption, not browser style sheets)).

          Then we get scenarios where, when one person can find out and publish one piece of information, and it produces a legally-enforced denial of service to thousands / millions of people.

          • No argument on if it gets pwned, just a question of when. However this is sort of a funny situation see.

            So Microsoft is all hot&bothered over this HTML-DRM, they’re pulling like 3 teleconferences for the standard body a week over this. Why?

            Well, see the DRM that Microsoft would support on their platform would be a different flavor than say Apples DRM. So why shouldn’t Microsoft help along a bit, pwning Apples DRM, anonymously of course, plausibly deniable, therefore instantly crippling all Apples devices from playing back DRMed HTML video…

            It’s gonna be pretty horrible there when they push this silly stuff trough.

          • bardfinn says:

            I can see the future, and it’s filled with JavaScript snippets that say

            if(navigator.appName.indexOf(“Internet Explorer”)!=-1){
            var badBrowser=(
            navigator.appVersion.indexOf(“MSIE 9″)==-1 &&

  3. anwaya says:

    The type of traffic that is used as an excuse for Deep Packet Inspection is the  type of traffic that netizens use to circumvent Digital Rights Management, which is, as some say round here, Broken By Design.
    The more we enable DRM in technology, the greater the desire to get around it, and the greater the incentive to use arbitrary, universal DPI will be, eventually eliminating privacy for individuals from oversight by corporate interests. I cannot think of a counterargument that makes this sequence avoidable, unless it is for us to accept our utter subjugation to corporate, fascist, interests.

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