Unethical HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism

Unethical HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism

“A new Web standard proposal authored by Google, Microsoft, and Netflix seeks to bring copy protection mechanisms to the Web. The Encrypted Media Extensions draft defines a framework for enabling the playback of protected media content in the Web browser. The proposal is controversial and has raised concern among some parties that are participating in the standards process.

In a discussion on the W3C HTML mailing list, critics questioned whether the proposed framework would really provide the level of security demanded by content providers. Mozilla asked for clarification from the authors about whether it would be possible to implement the proposal in an open source Web browser. Google’s Ian Hickson, the WHATWG HTML specification editor, called the Encrypted Media proposal “unethical” and said that it wouldn’t even fulfill the necessary technical requirements.

“I believe this proposal is unethical and that we should not pursue it,” he wrote in response to a message that Microsoft’s Adrian Bateman posted on the mailing list about the draft. “The proposal above does not provide robust content protection, so it would not address this use case even if it wasn’t unethical.”

The aim of the proposal is not to mandate a complete DRM platform, but to provide the necessary components for a generic key-based content decryption system. It is designed to work with pluggable modules that implement the actual decryption mechanisms. The proposal specifies a new set of API extensions for HTMLMediaElement, the interface that defines the specialized properties and JavaScript methods that are available on HTML audio and video elements.”

Read the full article: Click here