Document Actions

The fight for HTML5: 'Keep DRM out' lobby steps up standards battle

ZDNet - The web standards body W3C is being petitioned by a consortium of 27 organisations to reject proposals that would make it easier to support DRM-protected media in HTML5-based sites.

The draft Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) specification would apply to video, audio or interactive content  marked with HTML5 media element tags. The specification defines an API that would interact with a DRM or simple encryption system when the media was played. 

In a letter (PDF) addressed to inventor of the HMTL specification Sir Tim Berners Lee the consortium, which includes notable free software advocates such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Free Software Foundation, calls the proposed specification "disastrous" and claims it "would change HTML, the underlying language of the web, to make it accommodate and encourage" DRM.

The consortium opposes the adoption of the proposed specification on the basis that it would "harm interoperability, enshrine non-free software in W3C standards and perpetuate oppressive business models". W3C has made a public commitment to openness when developing web standards. The organisation's mission statement includes the pledge "the social value of the web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people".