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posted by martyb on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:29AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the bring-out-your-dead dept.

This week, the chief arbiter of Web standards, Tim Berners-Lee, decided not to exercise his power to extend the development timeline for the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) Web technology standard. The EME standardization effort, sponsored by streaming giants like Google and Netflix, aims to make it cheaper and more efficient to impose Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) systems on Web users. The streaming companies' representatives within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) were unable to finish EME within the time allotted by the W3C, and had asked Berners-Lee for an extension through next year.

Berners-Lee made his surprising decision on Tuesday, as explained in an email announcement by W3C representative Philippe Le Hégaret. Instead of granting a time extension — as he has already done once — Berners-Lee delegated the decision to the W3C's general decision-making body, the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee includes diverse entities from universities to companies to nonprofits, and it is divided as to whether EME should be part of Web standards. It is entirely possible that the Advisory Committee will reject the time extension and terminate EME development, marking an important victory for the free Web.

So it's not dead yet, despite Berners-Lee's decision. Let's not celebrate prematurely and keep up the fight to keep DRM out of the web!


Original Submission

Related Stories

Tim Berners-Lee Launches Inrupt, Aims to Create a Decentralized Web 53 comments

Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web

This week, Berners-Lee will launch Inrupt, a startup that he has been building, in stealth mode, for the past nine months. Backed by Glasswing Ventures, its mission is to turbocharge a broader movement afoot, among developers around the world, to decentralize the web and take back power from the forces that have profited from centralizing it. In other words, it's game on for Facebook, Google, Amazon. For years now, Berners-Lee and other internet activists have been dreaming of a digital utopia where individuals control their own data and the internet remains free and open. But for Berners-Lee, the time for dreaming is over.

"We have to do it now," he says, displaying an intensity and urgency that is uncharacteristic for this soft-spoken academic. "It's a historical moment." Ever since revelations emerged that Facebook had allowed people's data to be misused by political operatives, Berners-Lee has felt an imperative to get this digital idyll into the real world. In a post published this weekend, Berners-Lee explains that he is taking a sabbatical from MIT to work full time on Inrupt. The company will be the first major commercial venture built off of Solid, a decentralized web platform he and others at MIT have spent years building.

If all goes as planned, Inrupt will be to Solid what Netscape once was for many first-time users of the web: an easy way in. And like with Netscape, Berners-Lee hopes Inrupt will be just the first of many companies to emerge from Solid.

[...] [On] Solid, all the information is under his control. Every bit of data he creates or adds on Solid exists within a Solid pod–which is an acronym for personal online data store. These pods are what give Solid users control over their applications and information on the web. Anyone using the platform will get a Solid identity and Solid pod. This is how people, Berners-Lee says, will take back the power of the web from corporations.

How does Solid compare to Tor, I2P, Freenet, IPFS, Diaspora, etc.?

Related: Tim Berners-Lee Proposes an Online Magna Carta
Berners-Lee: World Wide Web is Spy Net
Tim Berners-Lee Just Gave us an Opening to Stop DRM in Web Standards
Sir Tim Berners-Lee Talks about the Web Again
Tim Berners-Lee Approved Web DRM, but W3C Member Organizations Have Two Weeks to Appeal
70+ Internet Luminaries Ring the Alarm on EU Copyright Filtering Proposal
One Year Since the W3C Sold Out the Web with EME


Original Submission

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Talks about the Web Again 43 comments

Sir Tim Berners-Lee gave an interview with radio station WBUR about the state of the Web and its future:

Berners-Lee initially imagined the web as a beautiful platform that could help us overcome national and cultural boundaries. He envisioned it would break down silos, but many people today believe the web has created silos.

And he still largely sees the potential of the web, but the web has not turned out to be the complete cyber Utopian dream he had hoped. He's particularly worried about the dark side of social media — places where he says anonymity is being used by "misogynist bullies, by nasty people who just get a kick out of being nasty."

He also identified personal data privacy, the spread of misinformation, and a lack of transparency in online political advertising as major problems with the current Web in a letter marking the World Wide Web's 28th birthday last month.

Previously: World Wide Web Turns 25 years Old
Tim Berners-Lee Proposes an Online Magna Carta
Berners-Lee on HTML 5: If It's Not on the Web, It Doesn't Exist
The First Website Went Online 25 Years Ago
Berners-Lee: World Wide Web is Spy Net
Tim Berners-Lee Just Gave us an Opening to Stop DRM in Web Standards


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:41AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:41AM (#411994)

    Would you prefer a bunch of individual proprietary DRM formats/standards that require their own programs and plugins?

    or a single common standard implemented across the board?

    Choose one.

    The argument against DRM is irrelevant as a world without DRM is a fantasy.

    I vote to make reality a little less shit by eventually having DRM support built into my browser rather than having to install separate proprietary DRM plugins.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:52AM

      by Arik (4543) on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:52AM (#411996) Journal
      No.

      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @04:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @04:31PM (#412100)

        This is the wisest comment in the entire debate.

      • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:43PM

        by darkfeline (1030) on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:43PM (#412167) Homepage

        Talk is cheap. For example, I can say No to Arik abusing pre/code tags, but he'll still keep abusing them, so the only solution is to take matters into my own hands and remove those tags forcefully using userscripts.

        Similarly, we can all say No to Web DRM, but it's going to be added one way or another and the only solution is user-level/client-side blocking. Having a standard will actually make it easier to block.

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:21PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:21PM (#412208)

          I don't usually respond to trolls like this, but without intending to, you've actually hit on some truth. Or, well, at least hit close to some.

          Of course, I'm not actually posting any tags, let alone 'abusing' them, which is why this is just trolling on your part, but still, you're right that the solution lies in your browser. You shouldn't need to do any userscript, although some browsers might be brain-damaged enough to require it I suppose, but generally you just need to go to your font settings. In Firefox, for instance, go to tools - options - content then hit the advanced button. See the checkmark? It turns on brain damage, turn it off, set fonts that work for your screen and your eyes, and you're good!

          Seems like that would be easier than following me around like a spurned schoolgirl and blaming me for your browser, and at any rate it will certainly be more effective!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @10:53PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @10:53PM (#412234)

            Seems like that would be easier than following me around like a spurned schoolgirl and blaming me for your browser, and at any rate it will certainly be more effective!

            Inigo Montoya: "Who are you?"
            AC: "No one to be trifled with. Quit following me."
            Inigo: "But you are an AC, so once again I must ask, who are you?"
            Six-fingered AC: "Stop saying that!"

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:13AM (#412003)

      In this case, I'd rather have the shitty competing versions that conflict and always crash. It will be so popular with the users.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @11:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @11:45AM (#412032)

        It might also be easier to circumvent the drm and capture the source that way.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:14AM (#412004)

      Making the world less shitty by having every browser download pure binary plugins that don't work on half the platforms (let's make sure to cement that Intel monopoly in all eternity!), are full of security holes and allow to identify each browser uniquely?
      Maybe you are just ignorant of the real effect of this?
      Also a world without DRM does exist for a lot of people.
      It is called YouTube and torrents.
      Even with DRM, the alternative to standardized (and thus encouraged) DRM is not just proprietary plugins (which won't be an option once plugin support is removed) but special-purpose devices like FireTV for those that believe they cannot do without DRM.
      I.e. make everyone choose: Provide your videos on the web without DRM or provide them with DRM and not on the web.
      If EME becomes standard, an absolute minimum requirement should be that the plugins work on Linux, OSX, Windows, FreeBSD, on x86, x86-64, ARMv7, ARMv8, MIPS, SPARC, PowerPC (LE and BE). Though I am fairly certain that would have the same effect as killing it, as the people behind it aren't willing to support even 2 architectures, and barely willing to support 3 OS. And then want to call it "open".

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @10:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @10:24AM (#412007)

      A broken situation is by far preferable....

      So yes.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Sunday October 09 2016, @10:32AM

      Would you prefer a bunch of individual proprietary DRM formats/standards that require their own programs and plugins? or a single common standard implemented across the board?

      The former. Then the ensuing chaos will hopefully kill off any further attempts at digital restriction management.

      That's if I really HAVE to choose one. Fortunately, I don't have to - I prefer to not buy* or use drm infected material.

      The argument against DRM is irrelevant as a world without DRM is a fantasy.

      Only if we let it - ie if we refuse to vote with our wallets.

       

      *As an aside, If, as the ads tell me, I "own it on DVD" doesn't that mean I can do whatever I like with it? Or is it just another example of false advertising?

      --
      It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @05:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @05:59PM (#412137)

        The former is the status quo and hasn't killed off anything yet.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @10:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @10:31PM (#412225)

        If, as the ads tell me, I "own it on DVD" doesn't that mean I can do whatever I like with it? Or is it just another example of false advertising?

        this is feeding the trolls probably, but i'll bite

        when you buy a dvd, you are buying a disc with a licensed copy of the film. you aren't buying the rights to the film itself (if you want to do that you'd be forking out a lot more than a few measly bucks)

        but of course you already knew that

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Monday October 10 2016, @01:08AM

          when you buy a dvd, you are buying a disc with a licensed copy of the film. you aren't buying the rights to the film itself...

          That's right, despite the "own it on DVD!" plastered all over the ad - they just forgot to put in an asterisk with "for a nonstandard meaning of the word "own""

          but of course you already knew that

          Sorry, forgot the [sarcasm] tag.

          --
          It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday October 09 2016, @12:28PM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday October 09 2016, @12:28PM (#412039)

      Would you prefer a bunch of individual proprietary DRM formats/standards that require their own programs and plugins?

      I would actually prefer this, because at least it wouldn't appear to give DRM legitimacy.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheRaven on Sunday October 09 2016, @04:50PM

        by TheRaven (270) on Sunday October 09 2016, @04:50PM (#412109) Journal

        More importantly, competing DRM implementations gives the lock-in power to the various distribution channels over the content creators. This is what killed DRM on music: Apple was able to manage a vertical monopoly (iPod, iTunes Music Store), which made it impossible for other music stores to compete and also implement DRM: if you didn't implement Apple's DRM, you couldn't put DRM'd music on the iPod, and Apple didn't license their DRM scheme. The only way for the music studios to regain control was to license music for DRM-free downloads.

        In spite of the pronouncements from the music industry that DRM was essential in their fight against piracy, since allowing DRM-free downloads the industry has enjoyed record profits.

        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10 2016, @05:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10 2016, @05:18AM (#412312)

          record profits

          I see what you did there.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @02:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @02:46PM (#412074)

      > or a single common standard implemented across the board?

      It isn't just about making it easier. It is about mainstreaming DRM as normal.
      Whenever DRM is used it should be seen as an exception, not a standard.

      It doesn't matter if it actually is common. Treating it as abnormal is central to ever beating it. Once we accept it as standard, then the social pressure to just accept it and all the crap that comes with it as just a fact of life becomes enormous.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:55PM

      by HiThere (866) on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:55PM (#412175) Journal

      This depends. If the unified requirement contained enforceable provisions that after the expiration of copyright on the material it would become publicly accessible, I'd find it acceptable. But the provisions would need to be enforceable without appeal to a legal process...and would also need to contain some equally enforceable guarantee that the material would be available to be distributed.

      Copyright is supposed to be a protection for a limited period of time. If that requirement is not adhered to in a reliable way, then I see no reason to respect it. My normal form of rejecting it is to refuse to purchase the merchandise, but I see no ethical grounds for condemning those who reject it in some other way.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by aristarchus on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:57PM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:57PM (#412201) Journal

      Arik has given the appropriate answer already, but let me suggest a few analogies that show you are in fact begging the question.

      The argument against DRM is irrelevant as a world without DRM is a fantasy.

      The argument against Nukes is irrelevant as a world without Nukes is a fantasy.
      The argument against AIDS is irrelevant as a world without AIDS is a fantasy.
      The argument against slavery is irrelevant as a world without slavery is a fantasy.
      The argument against smallpox is irrelevant as a world without smallpox is a fantasy.
      The argument against Pricilllianists is irrelevant as a world without Pricillianism is a fantasy.
      The argument against child labor is irrelevant as a world without child labor is a fantasy.
      The argument against Warcraft is irrelevant as a world of Warcraft is a fantasy.

      Actually, that last one kind of works. . .

      The argument against Microsoft is irrelevant as a world without Microsoft is a fantasy.
      The argument against apartheid is irrelevant as a world without apartheid is a fantasy.
      The argument against steam powered locomotives is irrelevant as the world of Steam Punk is a fantasy.
      The argument against copyright is irrelevant as a world without copyright is a fantasy, despite the fact that copyright, like DRM, is a creature of law, and did not in fact exist for most of human history, the first creation of a copyright being The Statute of Queen Anne [wikipedia.org] in 1710. So clearly a world without DRM can not possibly exist.

    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Monday October 10 2016, @05:46AM

      by davester666 (155) on Monday October 10 2016, @05:46AM (#412321)

      I would rather there be a bazillion different plugins needed, with different versions needing to be made depending on OS, browser, time of day and zip/postal code.

      It should be as horrible for an end-user to actually get to work as possible.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10 2016, @04:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 10 2016, @04:57PM (#412521)

      that's the whole point.(you poor, dumb bastard) we want the scumbags to have to make their own stupid plugins for their stupid drm to work. that will make it harder on them and the ignorant slaves who consume their excrement.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @09:05AM (#411999)

    I don't use DRM media, ever. It simply doesn't exist, as far as I'm concerned. You can offer me a DRM stream, I'll just ignore it, like I ignore ads.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @12:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @12:38PM (#412040)

      No DVDs? At all?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @01:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @01:25PM (#412048)

        Exactly. No DVDs at all. That is so XX century. And are not environment friendly.

        Takes more time and energy to rip a DVD and then convert it than to just download it.

        • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Sunday October 09 2016, @02:38PM

          by Pino P (4721) on Sunday October 09 2016, @02:38PM (#412072) Journal

          I don't use DRM media, ever.

          No DVDs? At all?

          Exactly. No DVDs at all. That is so XX century. And are not environment friendly.

          Takes more time and energy to rip a DVD and then convert it than to just download it.

          Lawfully made downloads of Hollywood feature films also come with digital restrictions management. (There are a handful of exceptions, mostly pre-1964 U.S. films whose copyright registration was not updated in the 28th year after publication.)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:19PM (#412160)

            Exactly why I have never used the iTunes Store, and I never will.

      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:59PM

        by HiThere (866) on Sunday October 09 2016, @07:59PM (#412178) Journal

        Well, I, personally, burn Linux distributions to DVDs, so not none ever. But none with DRM.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @01:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @01:18PM (#412045)

    There is nothing wrong with creating DRM and baking it into each and every product. There's also nothing wrong with things people did to the upper management during the French Revolution. Just saying.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:01PM

      by HiThere (866) on Sunday October 09 2016, @08:01PM (#412179) Journal

      Sorry, but your statement needs a slight rephrasing:
      If there is nothing wrong with creating DRM and baking it into each and every product, then there's also nothing wrong with things people did to the upper management during the French Revolution. Just saying.

      With that change I agree with it.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by digitalaudiorock on Sunday October 09 2016, @03:21PM

    by digitalaudiorock (688) on Sunday October 09 2016, @03:21PM (#412079)

    Just what we need in "open standards" right?...a "standard" means of implementing closed proprietary anti-consumer bullshit. Fuck that. Hopefully EME will get taken out in the street and pounded into tiny pieces.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @04:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09 2016, @04:42PM (#412104)

    Vote down the extension!

    Without us putting pressure on them you can expect to see this ramrodded through in the say way they attempted to push SOPA. Put up a blackout screen or banner on your website to link users to the Advisory Committee members list and we should be able to get enough people to petition/complain to make sure this extension is dead in the water. If we don't then we have only ourselves to blame.