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The W3C Caves In To DRM

DRM is ineffective and bad enough on its own. Including it as part of an "open" international standard is even worse. Hopefully web community will push back hard on this decision.

Simon St. Laurent comments on the unanswered question Tim Berners-Lee himself has asked about the issue:

Yes. What should we ask in return? And what should we expect to get? The W3C appears to have surrendered (or given?) its imprimatur to this work without asking for, well, anything in return. “Considerations to be discussed later” is rarely a powerful diplomatic pose.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has argued strenuously against including DRM in the standard and makes some incredibly potent points that do not appear to have been considered adequately:

In our conversations with the W3C, we argued that the W3C needed to develop a clearly defined line against the wave of DRM systems it will now be encouraged to adopt.

Many W3C participants held their nose to accept even the EME draft, which was carefully drafted to position itself as far away from the taint of DRM as was possible for a standard solely intended to be used for DRM systems.

But the W3C has now accepted "content protection". By discarding the principle that users should be in charge of user agents, as well as the principle that all the information needed to interoperate with a standard should be open to all prospective implementers, they've opened the door for the many rightsholders who would like the same control for themselves.

The W3C is now in an unenviable position. It can either limit its "content protection" efforts to the aims of a privileged few, like Hollywood. Or it can let a thousand "content protection systems" bloom, and allow any rightsholder group to chip away at software interoperability and users' control.