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posted by takyon on Saturday July 08 2017, @11:20AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the implementation-is-voluntary dept.

Tim Berners-Lee approved Web DRM yesterday, but W3C member organizations have two weeks to appeal. This was the controversial Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) standard for the WWW known as Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). The last opportunity to stop EME is an appeal by the Advisory Committee of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). An appeal would then trigger a vote from the whole Committee to make a final decision to ratify or reject EME. As an added difficulty Tim Berners-Lee heads the Advisory Committee.

Also at Techdirt and EFF. W3C's "Disposition of Comments for Encrypted Media Extensions and Director's decision".


Original Submission

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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

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  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday July 08 2017, @12:01PM (29 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 08 2017, @12:01PM (#536501) Journal

    If it's included it can be handled in a uniform compatible way. If it's rejected and forced to do its own thing. There might become a gigantic kludge of binary modules only working in specific use scenarios. Ie compatibility and management hell. Seems hard to thwart it.

    Dunno which option or other options that is the best choice?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @12:58PM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @12:58PM (#536511)

      It will be a gigantic kludge of binary modules even if it is included. The whole point of DRM is to be as opaque as possible. Give or take a few years and this will be activeX all over again. Just this time every browser will support it.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday July 08 2017, @01:25PM (8 children)

        by c0lo (156) on Saturday July 08 2017, @01:25PM (#536517) Journal

        Just this time every browser will support it.

        Why does the browser have to support it?
        Look, even emacs - that aspired to include... nay, to be the OS** - didn't include video-streaming functionality, why would a browser?

        (grin)

        ---

        ** ever heard the "The Emacs operating system needs a better editor" saying?

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:42PM (3 children)

          by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:42PM (#536541) Journal

          But why the FUCK is he the Autocrat of Browserstan?

          If there's a body that supposedly functions, the W3C, why hasn't he been "Vint Cerf'ed" into obscure board-director status?

          Unlike Linus, who manages active function of kernel development, TBL does meetings and reviews documents. His autocracy is a LEGACY, not a continuing MERIT.

          No wonder they knighted this bastard! He runs a little model of the UK Parliamentary system, which models superficial aspects of a republic, as concession granted by royalty.

          --
          You're betting on the pantomime horse...
        • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:44PM (1 child)

          by butthurt (6141) on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:44PM (#536542) Journal

          > [...] even emacs - that aspired to include... nay, to be the OS** - didn't include video-streaming functionality [...]

          Emacs /ˈiːmæks/ is a family of text editors that are characterized by their extensibility.

          -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMACS [wikipedia.org]

          EMACS by itself doesn't do much; many extensions are available for it, including one called EMMS:

          EMMS (Emacs MultiMedia System) is media player software for Emacs.

          --
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMMS [wikipedia.org]

          See also
          https://www.gnu.org/software/emms/ [gnu.org]

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:47PM

            by c0lo (156) on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:47PM (#536552) Journal

            EMACS by itself doesn't do much; many extensions are available for it, including one called EMMS:

            Dammit, emacs [xkcd.com]

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:03PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:03PM (#536543)

          Because it's in the spec, and "standards compliance" tests will be testing for it. Just like the whole whining about Firefox and derivatives not supporting CSS-color-link-spying and failing standard's compliance tests has led to wave upon wave of whining (and by extension added to the dominance of chrome due to the loud and incessant whining by said hipstard web designers).

          Sure you can build a browser without it (Palemoon for example will never support it according to the author), but all the major browsers will support it and most derivatives/forks will be too lazy/ignorant to remove it.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:07PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:07PM (#536544)

            PS: Once it becomes a commonplace thing that exists in all major browsers sites will begin using it for far more than just video streaming, they could find some ass-backward way to bend it into an anti-adblock mechanism for example (or the spec will be expanded to allow for it because Google pretty much owns the WC3 and writes the spec themselves nowadays), at which point anyone visiting the site will require it --- and rest assured, this kind of crap will find its way into commonly used frameworks and CMS (the same way shit like jQuery is everywhere now despite serving no actual purpose other than bloating pages by virtue of devs being too lazy to write their own code).

            To fix the internet a parallel internet will need to be created.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:21PM (#536537)

        That's the thing right there. The general trend has been away from DRM for some time now for other things. DRM free games, DRM free music and DRM free books are all things that are widely available. DRM really only makes sense in the case of media that's being rented for a short period of time. If the store is a store and claims to be selling things, then there better not be any DRM as that's fraud.

        Including a standard way of hooking DRM up to a browser is just encouraging bad behavior. Plus, we know perfectly well that it's not going to be the same DRM on each platform, so you'll have to have some sort of plug in or special code on the computer anyways, which means that Linux and any OS that isn't Android, Windows or OSX is likely left out in the cold.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday July 08 2017, @04:41PM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 08 2017, @04:41PM (#536567) Journal

        The whole point of DRM is to be as opaque as possible.

        Are you sure?
        Because that strategy hasn't worked that well in most segments of the DRM world. People find a way around it.

        I suspect the whole point of DRM is to make it obvious when it is hacked/defeated, so that prosecution is easier.

        I bet it ends up being more like Like the Dye-Pack in the stack of bills than the armed guards at the door.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @06:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @06:34PM (#536600)

          While I suspect HDMI may do something like that, your prepostion relies on secret watermarks.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:00PM (13 children)

      by Bot (3902) on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:00PM (#536531) Journal

      > There might become a gigantic kludge of binary modules only working in specific use scenarios

      It will be like that no matter what, because DRM can't be fully open source because that would make it bypassable.

      In fact I think interoperability has next to none importance in the adoption of this standard. Seems more like a way to mandate backdoors in the operating system of the future AKA the browser.

      --
      Account abandoned.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:23PM (11 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @02:23PM (#536539)

        The problem is that web browsers are supposed to be open. At least to the extent that anybody that can cruise the internet should be able to partake in all of it. Obvious exception for text-only browsers, but few people have to use a text only browser, just about any modern device that can connect to the internet has a graphical browser available.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JNCF on Saturday July 08 2017, @05:29PM (5 children)

          by JNCF (4317) on Saturday July 08 2017, @05:29PM (#536580) Journal

          web browsers are supposed to be open [...] to the extent that anybody that can cruise the internet should be able to partake in all of it.

          Au contraire! The whole nightmare of developing complex web apps is making them look and function similarly enough on the myriad browsers. If you care about reaching as many users as you can, you serve up a page that has all the functionality it can in the markup without assuming that a script can even run. If you additionally care about doing things that can't be done with plain markup on browsers that can handle it, you have a script start violently replacing parts of the DOM as soon as the page loads if the script can run. This is called progressive enhancement, and it's done to varying degrees. You can also have the script actually do tests to see if the browser allows certain behavior, and add different versions of the same functionality conditionally -- like using Canvas as a fallback if WebGL isn't supported. If we insisted that all browsers implement every feature the same way at the same rate, we would either have to stop adding new features (ELinks does not negotiate with terrorists, and neither does Pale Moon) or we would have an incredibly small number of browsers to choose from, which raises security concerns. I don't think the current landscape is too bad; anybody can make a website, anybody can make a browser, and anybody can make a standards committee (given the resources). Even if a committee adds a feature we don't like and some cutting-edge browsers implement it we'll still have all of the other browsers and websites that don't use DRM. The web is already fragmented, and basically always has been -- Netscape and IE weren't in lock-step. This is both painful and desirable; we can't have evolution without mutations. If a mutation is horrible (like I expect DRM to be), let it die.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @05:42PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @05:42PM (#536583)

            I disagree, this is perfect example of something that shouldn't even be considered for a standard. This is something that has been done via plug-ins for ages and that's the way that makes the most sense. It makes no sense at all to standardize something that's going to be used by a relatively small number of websites. Especially, given that there's no guarantee that it's going to work on any given browser.

            Browsers have evolved to the point where the things that you can reasonably need to do are mostly supported in standards. The things people gripe about not working reliably are usually things that you shouldn't be doing in the first place. I remember back a couple decades ago where you couldn't do much of anything without coding in a ton of exceptions and special code for various browsers. These days, it's much, much better.

            Still, I fail to see how the fact that it hasn't been completely fixed is justification for introducing things like this that serve no purpose, don't belong in a browser and just introduce additional incompatibilities.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JNCF on Saturday July 08 2017, @06:20PM (3 children)

              by JNCF (4317) on Saturday July 08 2017, @06:20PM (#536598) Journal

              I disagree, this is perfect example of something that shouldn't even be considered for a standard.

              If you and I were magically put on the board discussing the inclusion of DRM in a specific standard, I would be in complete agreement with you. Mostly I'm arguing that you shouldn't be able to use every website in every browser, that the ones you can use in every browser should be allowed to drop functionality in some browsers, and that this is already the case and has been for a (relatively) long time.

              This is something that has been done via plug-ins for ages and that's the way that makes the most sense. It makes no sense at all to standardize something that's going to be used by a relatively small number of websites. Especially, given that there's no guarantee that it's going to work on any given browser.

              This is an excellent description of videos in 1995.

              Browsers have evolved to the point where the things that you can reasonably need to do are mostly supported in standards. The things people gripe about not working reliably are usually things that you shouldn't be doing in the first place. I remember back a couple decades ago where you couldn't do much of anything without coding in a ton of exceptions and special code for various browsers. These days, it's much, much better.

              I suspect there are things that will seem obviously necessary in a decade, but that we fail to see right now. MetaMask is still a plug-in. WebVR is in a state of infancy, and it leaks crazy amounts of biometric data. It might not look like these things belong in a browser right now, but we don't know what 2027 looks like. "Browsers" might be dead by then, or they might be radically different.

              Still, I fail to see how the fact that it hasn't been completely fixed is justification for introducing things like this that serve no purpose, don't belong in a browser and just introduce additional incompatibilities.

              On a case by case basis, I will agree to avoiding mutations which appear bad. I just understand that I can't see clearly, and I don't have the desire to stop an orgainization from going down a rabbit hole that looks dangerous to me. The W3C does not control the internet, they are just one standards body. Let them publish what they will. I doubt anything useful in the long-term will come from it, and I wouldn't expend resources on it, but I'm not concerned about them doing so. I'd rather the money be used exploring a bad rabbit hole than, say, producing a sitcom. It's not a great use of money, but it's maybe slightly useful.

              • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @07:28PM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @07:28PM (#536613)

                Argh that is an annoying form of comment response.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @10:35PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @10:35PM (#536666)

                  If you are referring to blockquoting and adding a reply and repeating for subsequent points, I totally disagree with you.

                  The only problem I have with the style of JNCF is the text blob in his first comment in this (sub)thread.
                  That deserved about 4 paragraph breaks.

                  ...and one more nitpick:
                  I don't approve of anyone giving Internet Exploder a free pass.
                  In their software, MICROS~1 didn't/doesn't follow already-establish standards--even when they were a part of the committee that formalized those standards.

                  Adding new stuff is one thing; breaking stuff is quite another.

                  -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                  • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Sunday July 09 2017, @05:00AM

                    by JNCF (4317) on Sunday July 09 2017, @05:00AM (#536752) Journal

                    The only problem I have with the style of JNCF is the text blob in his first comment in this (sub)thread.
                    That deserved about 4 paragraph breaks.

                    Yeah, that's totally fair.

                    Adding new stuff is one thing; breaking stuff is quite another.

                    That line is fuzzier than it first appears, but I understand what you're saying and I mostly agree.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by Arik on Saturday July 08 2017, @05:43PM (4 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Saturday July 08 2017, @05:43PM (#536584) Journal
          There's no exception for text only browsers. The web was specifically designed to be agnostic about 'display device' - which might be a screen or a voder or even something tactile.

          In fact, text browsers are and remain your best test for accessibility. If you foul up your attempt at a web page badly enough that it doesn't work in a text browser, it's not a web page at all.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Saturday July 08 2017, @06:57PM (3 children)

            by JNCF (4317) on Saturday July 08 2017, @06:57PM (#536606) Journal

            If you foul up your attempt at a web page badly enough that it doesn't work in a text browser, it's not a web page at all.

            Ah, the old "no true web page..." fallacy.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @10:58PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @10:58PM (#536675)

              If your web page won't work at all in a text-only browser, it won't work in a blind person's screenreader.

              That's a fail.

              I have repeatedly noted here how some pages don't Degrade Gracefully.
              It's a concept that every wannabe web developer should be taught on Day 1.

              Add all the bells and whistles you want AFTER the -basic- page works in ANY browser.
              ...and if that extra stuff doesn't work in someone's browser, add some code explaining what's supposed to happen and why it's not working for that visitor.

              N.B. I had a jury duty summons postcard that pointed to a web page which failed this last thing.
              Their goddamned widget[1] didn't work in my setup (even after whitelisting some things) and indicated that the site visitor was stupid--rather than giving a -useful- error message.

              [1] Xerox, Inc.   Assholes.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Sunday July 09 2017, @04:57AM (1 child)

                by JNCF (4317) on Sunday July 09 2017, @04:57AM (#536750) Journal

                To be clear, I do value the ability to use a site with a text-only browser. I was only arguing that it is not a defining feature of a "web page." A horrible site that consists solely of one big "under construction" gif sans alt-text is still web page.

                • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 09 2017, @05:10AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 09 2017, @05:10AM (#536753)

                  We clearly disagree.

                  -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Thursday July 13 2017, @12:23PM

        by Wootery (2341) on Thursday July 13 2017, @12:23PM (#538670)

        DRM can't be fully open source because that would make it bypassable.

        Unless the hardware is complicit in the DRM scheme.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:45PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08 2017, @03:45PM (#536550)

      "There might become a gigantic kludge of binary modules only working in specific use scenarios. Ie compatibility and management hell."

      maybe you're just a shill but i'll respond as if you're a real person(more or less). it would only be compatibility and management hell for slaveware(DRM) peddlers and the skanks that use it. that is, and would be a good thing. they need to be marginalized like they are now! Why do you think they are using the standards body to weasel their way into people's browsers like the subversive pieces of shit they are? their bullshit shouldn't be inter operable with accepted standards! why is this so hard for you #@(%$ to understand?

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Saturday July 08 2017, @04:20PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 08 2017, @04:20PM (#536560) Journal

        I'll suspect the DRM thing will creep into the rest of the browser.
        My vote now: No DRM API accepted.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Geezer on Saturday July 08 2017, @12:16PM

    by Geezer (511) on Saturday July 08 2017, @12:16PM (#536502)

    The cynical pessimist in me has been expecting WebDRM or something like it to eventually be approved, so I guess Ill be setting up an old server with a decent video card as a stand-alone with no wireless enabled. Use only a "dumb" TV and legacy speaker system (no "smart" features) and just use the web for streaming.

    I have about 2TB of music and video that I have no wish to see locked/reported/deleted by shitware from that cocksucking sellout TBL.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by canopic jug on Saturday July 08 2017, @01:39PM

    by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 08 2017, @01:39PM (#536524) Journal

    For what it's worth, tomorrow (July 9th) will be another International Day Against DRM [dayagainstdrm.org].

    --
    Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
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