The World Wide Web Consortium, the decades old champion of the open Web, let down many of its biggest supporters when it decided to cater to Hollywood by standardizing DRM as part of the spec for HTML5.
This week, the W3C is meeting in Cambridge, Mass, where my Electronic Frontier Foundation colleague Danny O'Brien has gone to agitate for a non-aggression covenant that would prohibit W3C members from using the DMCA to go after security researchers and implementers who break the DRM they're standardizing.
The Free Software Foundation rallied a group of Web users who protested the meeting, while the MIT Media Lab hosted a discussion of the W3C's actions with Joi Ito, Richard Stallman, Danny O'Brien and Harry Halpin.
The W3C's meeting continues today.
"I was just on the fourth floor of the building we were just in, where I was drinking nice glasses of red wine with the representatives of Comcast, MovieLabs, and Netflix,” O’Brien said, speaking through a bullhorn. “And it was great to be able to stop the discussion we were having, and to say that I had to go talk to the dozens and dozens of people down there who disagree with everything they’re saying.”
As the protesters bear down on the Microsoft building, they launch into a chant that riffs on the UNIX command to delete a file: “RM DRM! RM DRM!”
Suddenly, Stallman strides to the front of the marching column to confer with Rogoff.
“Richard Stallman just pointed out that Windows users probably won’t understand that chant,” Rogoff says, his voice distorted by the the bullhorn.
Richard Stallman Braved a Winter Storm Last Night to March Against DRM
Scenes From Anti-DRM Protest Outside W3C
My latest Locus Magazine column is DRM Broke Its Promise, which recalls the days when digital rights management was pitched to us as a way to enable exciting new markets where we'd all save big by only buying the rights we needed (like the low-cost right to read a book for an hour-long plane ride), […]
For decades, architectural critic and photographer John Margolies obsessively documented roadside attractions: vernacular architecture, weird sculpture, odd businesses and amusements. By his death in 2016, his collection consisted of more than 11,000 slides (he published books of his favorites, with annotations).
After the EU Copyright Directive passed with a slim majority that only carried because some MEPs got confused and pressed the wrong button, the government of Poland filed a legal challenge with the European Court of Justice, arguing that the Directive -- and its rule requiring that all online discourse be filtered by black-box algorithms […]
On the one hand, nostalgia is “a corruption of the historical impulse,” according to William Gibson. On the other hand, “Super Mario Bros.” will never not be cool. Luckily, there’s a way to satisfy that retro gaming while still keeping an eye on the future: The GameShell Kit. This thing is simultaneously the last handheld […]
The field of data analytics can get intimidating, even for business professionals who constantly rely on it. But at its heart, its purpose is to simplify. To take mounds of information and distill their insights into a single clear picture. Currently, the go-to software for painting that picture is Tableau. And if you want to […]
If you’re in the market for a stable, durable camera fully suited for first-person video, there’s a good chance that you’re the adventurous type. So why settle on a familiar name like GoPro? The DJI Osmo Action 4K HDR Camera checks off all the same boxes on the action cam checklist as the GoPro 4K […]