Open "Chromecast killer" committed suicide-by-DRM

The Matchstick, a Firefox-OS-based Chromecast-style device, kickstarted on the promise of bringing open, user-rights-respecting video to our homes — then they decided to add DRM.

They added it because they decided that without Netflix (who demand DRM) and other video services, it wouldn't be any fun. The process of adding DRM turned out to be such a clusterfuck that they had to shut down the venture altogether. They're refunding the money they took in in pre-orders.

It's nice that they're refunding backers' money, but I side with the backers who say, "Screw DRM, just ship me the Matchstick I backed, which had no DRM in it in the first place."

After struggling with the DRM development based on Firefox OS for most of this year, we realize continued development of DRM, though showing early signs of promise, will be a long and difficult road. We have come to the conclusion that we will not be able to reliably predict the completion date of the DRM development without significantly more research, development and integration.

We feel the only responsible thing to do now is to refund 100% of the pledge money to our backers. You have been very patient with us, and we feel announcing another major delay in the Matchstick delivery would not be fair to our backers. We apologize for not being able to update you sooner.

Matchstick, The More Open Chromecast, Destroyed By DRM, Announces Plans To Return All Funds [Mike Masnick/Techdirt]