Feeds

Web Daddy Berners-Lee DRMs HTML5 into 2016

Web drawbridge dropped for media barons pillage, says EFF

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Digital Rights Management isn’t just coming to HTML5 but also HTML 5.1 in 2016 – despite objections from critics.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) director Tim Berners-Lee has signed off on a new charter for the HTML5 Working Group that puts DRM as one of its goals.

Support for “the playback of protected content” – W3C speak for DRM-ed material – is included in the scope of the new charter of the web group working on the standard.

HTML5 is pencilled in for a year from now, in the fourth quarter of 2014, with successor 5.1 coming two years later, in Q4 2016. The end date for the actual charter is 30 June 2015.

The announcement is a slap-down to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which had raised a formal objection to the inclusion of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) – which would enable DRM playback – in the HTML5 spec.

The EFF, with others, had resisted the idea of encrypted playback as a web standard, saying it was against the principle of an open web and would take control of their browsers out of the hands of users.

W3C interaction domain lead Philippe Le Hégaret broadcast the latest words from Berners-Lee here.

“While we remain sensitive to the issues raised related to DRM and usage control, the director re-confirmed his earlier decision that the on-going work is in scope,” Le Hégaret said. “The director will continue to look at community feedback regarding drafts published by the HTML Working Group.”

The DRM debate

Critics of the decision were referred back to a blog from W3C chief executive Jeff Jaffe post from earlier in May that more-or-less said that having considered the opposition to EME in HTML 5, the W3C was going ahead.

He said the organisation "recognize[d] that to have far-reaching standards that support interoperability, it is essential to include connections to such proprietary elements, some of which may be replaced in time with open standards."

The EFF lodged its formal objection right after Jaffe published his post.

Jaffe's post was in response to an open letter to Tim Berners-Lee from the EFF, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and others that opposed EME. In the letter, the groups called it “disastrous” and said EME was being added purely to suit the interests of media companies.

The EFF has now responded to the W3C's new charter, in a blog post titled "Lowering your standards". Director Danny O'Brien wrote that EFF was “deeply disappointed” that encryption would now be included in the HTML 5 and 5.1 standards.

The group warned the move puts control of the "user agent" (the browser) in the hands of media companies and content owners and distributors and takes it from users.

The “EFF believes that's a dangerous step for an organization that is seen by many as the guardian of the open Web to take,” the group said.

“If EME goes through to become part of a W3C recommendation, you can expect to hear DRM vendors, DRM-locked content providers like Netflix, and browser makers like Microsoft, Opera, and Google stating that they can now offer W3C standards compliant 'content protection' for Web video," the group said.

“The EFF is still a W3C member, and we'll do our best to work with other organizations within and without the consortium to help it fight off the worse consequences of accepting DRM. But it's not easy to defend a king who has already invited its attackers across his moat." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.