On the W3C DRM business

From the W3C CEO’s Q&A pages:

A situation where premium content is relegated to applications inaccessible to the Open Web or completely locked down devices would be far worse for all.

When I first visited the page, commenting was disabled, so I wrote one anyway. Its text is below.


But of course you realize that’s what you’re doing.

If you build DRM into an HTML spec, and some free browsers decide they want to implement it differently, or not at all, then those browsers won’t be able to access the premium content.

And how do you intend to decide whether a browser implements these interfaces correctly without unnecessarily impeding free development and experimentation in the browser world? Are you going to have Microsoft sign our browsers’ binaries? Is the W3C going to issue keys after reviewing each browser version? I run Firefox Nightly, how am I going to access premium content?

This is a step away from your precious “Open Web” and it’s obvious. Let the backend and delivery systems deal with security, the browser shouldn’t be the police force against the user. If someone really wants to shackle their viewers, let them do it through their own applications like they always have. HTML is *our* media format and it would be unfair of the WHATWG or the W3C to suddenly give it to the media industry.

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