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DRM Electronic Frontier Foundation Encryption GNU is Not Unix

RMS Urges W3C To Reject On Principle DRM In HTML5 320

Posted by timothy
from the one-of-those-has-4-letters-and-a-number dept.
gnujoshua writes "In a new article, GNU Project founder Richard M. Stallman speaks out against the proposal to include hooks for DRM in HTML5. While others have been making similar arguments, RMS strikes home the point that while companies can still push Web DRM themselves, the stance taken by the W3C is still — both practically and politically — vitally important: '[...] the W3C cannot prevent companies from grafting DRM onto HTML. They do this through nonfree plug-ins such as Flash, and with nonfree Javascript code, thus showing that we need control over the Javascript code we run and over the C code we run. However, where the W3C stands is tremendously important for the battle to eliminate DRM. On a practical level, standardizing DRM would make it more convenient, in a very shallow sense. This could influence people who think only of short-term convenience to think of DRM as acceptable, which could in turn encourage more sites to use DRM. On the political level, making room for DRM in the specifications of the World Wide Web would constitute an endorsement in principle of DRM by the W3C. Standardization by the W3C could facilitate DRM that is harder for users to break than DRM implemented in Javascript code. If the DRM is implemented in the operating system, this could result in distribution of works that can't be played at all on a free operating system such as GNU/Linux.'"
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RMS Urges W3C To Reject On Principle DRM In HTML5

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  • by drakaan (688386) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @03:16PM (#43612853) Homepage Journal
    The kernel is Linux. Pretty much all of the software is built with GNU tools (e.g. GCC). GNU/Linux is a label that describes the Operating System (not just the kernel).
  • by Phil Urich (841393) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @03:30PM (#43612993) Journal
    As far as I understand it, DRM in HTML5 would be like the Video tag; no actual specific format specified, just a standardized method for declaring its existence. Just as people can put proprietary, patent-encumbered video formats in an html video tag, so too could they with the DRM standard in HTML5. Folks would still have to install or have proprietary DRM blobs/programs of sorts for any of this to work. Ironically, this puts DRM in webpages potentially even less tied to web technologies, as they'll be passed through to OS-provided methods.
  • by wagnerrp (1305589) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @03:40PM (#43613125)
    DRM is bad for an open standard, as DRM cannot be implemented openly. DRM requires a central authority license anyone who wants to implement the standard. Saying it is good or bad is besides the point. It is something that is technologically incompatible with the purpose of HTML.
  • All DRM is worthless (Score:4, Informative)

    by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay.gmail@com> on Thursday May 02, 2013 @04:09PM (#43613609) Homepage Journal

    Bad is a subjective concept, and DRM can't be it (at least, not for everybody). The following are objective characteristics that do apply to all forms of DRM:

    1 - It doesn't disturb pirates in any way
    2 - It destroys value for your paying customers
    3 - It makes the communication channels proprietary

  • by wagnerrp (1305589) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @04:39PM (#43614093)

    Implementing something openly means anyone can implement it. If any user could implement it, then any user could just as easily fake implementing it, lie to the previous block of code in the chain, and immediately divulge the keys to themselves. DRM cannot allow this to happen, thus the keys AND the code must both be protected from the user.

    Just because you don't have DRM does not mean users can freely access your system. Conditional access is completely separate from DRM. Conditional access limits initial access to the content. DRM prevents what users can do once they do access the content. DRM is not even to protect against users violating your copyrights by redistributing your content, as time and again, history has shown that all DRM systems will be broken, and broken in short order. People who illegally download content never have to deal with DRM. DRM is merely to artificially restrict how the otherwise legitimate paying customer can consume the content.

  • Re:Fascinating ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by cas2000 (148703) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @08:31PM (#43616143)

    So do you have any objection to DRM on rentals, then?

    DRM is a way of forcing ALL sales to be rentals.

    except, no discount for being just a rental. you pay full price but still don't get to actually own what you bought.

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