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)
When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, they acquired Java, Sun’s popular programming language, pitched from its inception as an open standard for the networked computer.
For more than four years, we’ve been writing about Prenda Law, a prolific copyright troll (that is, a company that sends dire legal threats and demands for money to people they accuse of copyright infringement, based on the flimsiest of evidence), whose conduct is so breathtakingly illegal that it feels like satire or performance art […]
Ewan McGee writes, “Creators of the YouTube channel H3H3 productions are being sued by the creator of the YouTube channel MattHossZone for showing/talking about one of his ‘pick up’ videos. YouTuber Philip DeFranco talks about the story in his YouTube show, sets up a GoFundMe page for the creators of H3H3 to help them with […]
Every company wants to harness the power of social media, but few understand how to make that happen. Be one of those select few with this Social Media Marketing Course & Certification package, now just $29 in the Boing Boing Store.Over 12 modules of course material, you’ll learn what it takes to increase a brand’s […]
If you’ve got a killer app idea, but don’t have the technical expertise to pull it off, get a crash course in all things app development with the Comprehensive Android Development Bundle, now over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store. Across 83 hours of training, you’ll learn to develop for the world’s most popular mobile OS, mastering […]
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]