Thursday, September 28, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

EFF Resigns From W3C

Cory Doctorow (Hacker News):

In July, the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium overruled dozens of members’ objections to publishing a DRM standard without a compromise to protect accessibility, security research, archiving, and competition.

EFF appealed the decision, the first-ever appeal in W3C history, which concluded last week with a deeply divided membership. 58.4% of the group voted to go on with publication, and the W3C did so today, an unprecedented move in a body that has always operated on consensus and compromise. In their public statements about the standard, the W3C executive repeatedly said that they didn’t think the DRM advocates would be willing to compromise, and in the absence of such willingness, the exec have given them everything they demanded.

[…]

EFF no longer believes that the W3C process is suited to defending the open web. We have resigned from the Consortium, effective today.

John Gruber:

I’m no fan of DRM. Who is? But I am a fan of practicality, and there are practical reasons why web browsers should be able to play DRM-protected content without using proprietary plugins.

[…]

I’ll leave the original post as-is, because I think it expresses well my thoughts on why the W3C should support DRM, but this DMCA issue is important, and now I’m uncertain how to feel about the EFF’s decision to leave. The DMCA is an odious — and I think unconstitutional — law. DRM should be protected by its encryption and longstanding copyright law. Anything that’s “fair use” under copyright law should be “fair use” with DRM content if the DRM can be circumvented.

Previously: Encrypted Media Extensions (EME).

5 Comments

I don't want to be that guy attacking an ally in the anti DRM fight, but:
"I’m no fan of DRM. Who is? But I am a fan of practicality, and there are practical reasons why web browsers should be able to play DRM-protected content without using proprietary plugins."

Um...iOS is one big DRM infested walled garden. Clearly DRM on videos, DRM on books, DRM on streaming music, DRM on apps, DRM on the operating system itself is perfectly fine. Otherwise why would one use such a system?

I actually agreed with John Gruber's post. Compromise is probably fine, even if DRM is less than an ideal solution. He is also right, fair use should trump DRM laws. If people break DRM for illicit use, existing copyright infringement laws can be used to punish/prosecute (depending on scale of the offense). No need to punish people for what should be non infringing circumvention of DRM. This coming from some one with a dim view of existing copyright laws, but I understand they have a place at some level in the modern marketplace.

I still find the logic put forth amusing coming from one of the biggest proponent's of iOS's walled garden approach (a wall largely built with DRM), but I don't want to lose allies in this debate.

> there are practical reasons why web browsers should be able to play DRM-protected content without using proprietary plugins

Are there, though? It's not like people can't already provide DRM'd content using different means. Won't this just make DRM more prevalent?

@Lukas My guess is that it will make both content and DRM more prevalent.

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