The work at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on adding DRM to HTML5 is one of the most disturbing developments in the recent history of technology. The W3C's mailing lists have been full of controversy about this ever since the decision was announced.
Most recently, a thread in the restricted media list asked about the requirements for DRM from the studios -- who have pushed for DRM, largely through their partner Netflix -- and discoverd that these requirements are secret.
It's hard to overstate how weird this is.
Standardization is the process by which all the parties in a technical subject agree on how things should be done. It starts with a gathering of requirements -- literally, "What is the standard required to do?" Without these requirements, it's hard to see how standardization can take place. If you don't know what you're standardizing for, how can you standardize at all?
DRM, by its nature, has secret requirements. That's why attempts to standardize it always end up with unworkable garbage, like the DVB's CPCM. DRM relies on me installing software on your computer that stops you from running other software. For example, you install a browser that plays video in such a way that another program on your computer can't grab the video as the browser shows it on the screen.
This is silly. It's your computer. Whatever steps the browser takes to obscure how it is playing the video back can be unpicked by you, at your leisure, so you can make a tool that gets around it.
Standards are, by their nature, public: they say, "This is what you are expected to do." But if you make DRM's workings public ("here's how we hide the keys from you"), you provide a roadmap for defeating it. Standardized DRM is an oxymoron, like a secret law.
The ensuing Hacker News thread is well worth a read on this.
Re: Watermarking [Re: Campaign for position of chair and mandate to close this community group]
(Image: Shh--Daily Image 2011--April 2, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from tinfoilraccoon's photostream)
Dyson Logos’s G+ account is an endlessly scrolling inventory of hand-drawn D&D maps, each one cooler than the last.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation just filed comments with the FDA in its embedded device cybersecurity docket, warning the agency that manufacturers have abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, threatening security researchers with lawsuits if they came forward with embarrassing news about defects in the manufacturers’ products.
Atari was once a giant of video game innovation, but now it’s a troll — a company that produces nothing except legal threats — and its latest project is to get the US Patent and Trademark Office to give it the right to decide who can make haunted house games, and charge the lucky few […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]