We expect premium video on the web to continue to shift away from using proprietary plugin technologies to using these new Premium Video Extensions.
According to Netflix, Microsoft made this possible by implementing three features in its still-unfinished IE11:
The Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) using Microsoft PlayReady DRM.
Each platform will offer a different DRM implementation, but there would be only one HTML5 player and would use the same API on all systems.
I assume that they will continue to use Silverlight on Windows prior to IE11.
I admit to being conflicted about the philosophical need for such extensions--although I have no pragmatic objections. Netflix makes their coin by selling limited access to an artificially-restricted resource; the resource would probably not exist in its present form without the restrictions.
However, as someone who lived through web development in the 1990s, my brain shut off after reading "away from using proprietary" followed by "Microsoft MarketingTerm".
This is not the kind of thing that we should be encouraging.
It always strikes me as odd that it would appear the "internet crowd" would both like to abolish advertising (re: commercials) _and_ DRM (re: subscriptions). I don't know that Netflix or Steam exists without the later, and I much prefer the "price" I pay for that "burden" over the alternative(s?).
And I have to say, it's hard for me to cast stones at MS for the innovations IE5 brought to market, in the late 90s. It's pretty crummy to subject MS to feelings that only manifested many years later and only because of things they didn't do -- continue supporting and innovating in the browser space. We're just pissed it was so good that people could hold onto it until pried from the cold, dead hands.
With all that MPAA and the like have done to this industry, I can't fathom Netflix getting to serve much content and for very long if they can't guarantee a strong protection over the content. Obviously there are always ways to circumvent the steps taken, so long as the GPU stream is pipeable.
So digital broadcast television started with publishers demanding DRM, and then giving up on it (and realizing that it wasn't actually necessary). The exact same thing happened with music. And it's happening with ebooks too. But for some reason, you think that web video is different? And you advocate giving up on it without any real fight.
Do I think web video and broadcast TV are different? Absolutely; definitely; unequivocally, yes. Obviously. Maybe not for technical folks; maybe not when usenet or FTP trading was your only option for content not music; but nowadays, torrent software and search is really damn easy and free. Broadcast also comes with a landslide of garbage between 95% shit channels and 33% commercial times; Netflix does not operate this way.
I think ebooks and music are totally different ballgames. You'll pay more for an ebook or mp3 album than you will for a month of Netflix; you think they can service you like that without some guarantees to content providers? I really don't know, but I know some of you are up in arms about Netflix having DRM, when it really isn't harming anyone. If you want to own the content, go do that; Netflix is only offering a non-ownership service.
$8 for 24/7, front-running picture-quality, enormous-catalog of content; it has DRM; it _never_ gets in the way of the service; it frankly works so good that owning the content would provide nigh a worse experience. Can you really explain to me the downsides to how Netflix has implemented DRM? What if they offered an additional cost to be able to download content for offline use, which is about the only thing I can conceivably imagine some might have reservations?
... if you use a supported platform. In other words: It never gets in the way of the service for you
Until recently, running it on Linux at all was not feasible. Even today, it requires running it in Wine or a VM. The only reason this is the case is because the DRM prevents us from using a standard player.
That is the downside of DRM. And for me it's the reason why I won't touch Netflix even if it becomes easier to use it under Linux as long as they keep at the DRM nonsense.
I learned this the hard way with iTunes, and I am not touching DRM'd content again unless I can effortlessly break the DRM (so e.g. I do buy DRM'd books of Amazon, and promptly uses Calibre to secure a DRM free copy; but I've still not made the move to Bluray because it's too much hassle)
advocate, verb: publicly recommend or support.
In this thread, you've been publicly recommending and supporting the idea of giving up on fighting web DRM.
Web video and broadcast TV are the same in terms of the effect of piracy, and in terms of the need for DRM. A TV show pirated from a broadcast stream is almost exactly the same as a TV show pirated from a web stream. DRM isn't necessary over the air, therefore it isn't necessary on the web.
Requiring DRM for web content but not for broadcast content is like locking one door but leaving another open. The broadcast door has been open for years and Hollywood still hasn't imploded. Web DRM isn't necessary for their business; they're just trying to use it to get more control.
Why would anyone bother doing that when they could just download what they wanted over bittorrent?
It does, however, stop people like me from subscribing to their service, as I refuse to pay for a service that is hampered by DRM this way, as from long experience as a Linux user, relying on formats that are not open and unencumbered is pretty much guaranteed to cause annoying hassles for me in some way or another with uses that I consider completely reasonable, and that does not include storing copies or distributing the content to others in any way.
It's a nice try from Netflix. Dropping Silverlight is great. But it's not enough.
So does that make it anymore cross-platform than Flash was? And now instead of having "one" monolithic proprietary plugin, it's now more "decentralized" and you'll have to use "many" such proprietary plugins from Netflix, from Hulu, from Amazon, and many others, that may or may not be cross-platform.
Why is the news only about IE (11 even). Does it work in Chrome and Firefox, too?
Also, the codec used is actually part of the proprietary blob, and there are no requirements as to which codecs or containers a particular DRM scheme supports, so in theory every DRM scheme could require a different, incompatible proprietary codec and they'd still all be 100% standards compliant.
This is a pretty disappointing move, since I'm pretty sure Netflix will never run on that computer, and Netflix doesn't care.
And I think Chrome nightlies had the web DRM in place but were not enabled by default? Don't quote me on that.
Anyway, I think Firefox will be forced follow Chrome and IE now to implement DRM in HTML5 video. Firefox does not have the market power it once had thanks to Chrome.
Remember how the whole H.264 in HTML5 support thing played out for Firefox? They were on the side of not supporting it, and Google said it would remove it from Chrome, but that never happened, and Mozilla finally got tired of the effects of "Firefox doesn't support this site's video, let me use a browser that does" and added support.
The same thing is pretty much guaranteed to happen with EME as sites start using EME to stream video and IE, Chrome and Safari add support.
A "known key" attack isn't an attack at all, cryptographically speaking.
In addition: it doesn't even look like they're meaningfully using "web crypto" APIs, but rather the much-debated proposed DRM blob APIs.
However, you are onto the right track. One proposed solution to DRM (that I believe was impleneted with DVD and/or blueray) is to establish a chain of trust in the hardware. The idea would be that you send an encrypted signal to the monitor, and the monitor has a tamper resistant decryption chip with its own key.
Obviously, this only gets you so far, as once someone cracks the chip (or acquires the master key through other means, as happened with DVD), then the entire scheme is broken.
Ultimatly the problem is that you need to provide the user with enough information for them to be able to view the decrypted content, while at the same time not let them know the decrypted content. The real question is how difficult/expansive can you make it to bypass. Unfourtantly, in every system I am aware of, once one person figures it out, it become cheap and easy for every else; and coming up with a new crypto-system is a great way to get the academic community to try and break it.
For anyone interested, it looks like HDCP has been broken on pure crypto grounds . As much as I agree that this type of DRM is fundamentally not possible, I'm still kind of surprised that their was a direct attack on the crypto.
App store apps have also been cracked in that their keys have been stripped, on a jail broken phone you can run all those apps without needing a valid key.
I don't know if Requiem has been keeping up with the latest iTunes releases.
EDIT: I just felt like ranting against Silverlight some more. The only reason I use Silverlight is because of Netflix. I run it in Chrome on my Mac Air. Besides being buggy and resource hungry, it also doesn't stop my Mac from dimming even when watching a video in fullscreen, unlike YouTube videos, etc. (Could this be because it doesn't use the graphics card?) I watched a movie on it the other day and the audio/video kept going out of sync due to lag (not a network problem) and I had to reload the page every 5 minutes. Aaargh! Death to Silverlight!
For some odd reason each company makes their apps really buggy and annoying on the other's platform... weird.
You might want to use this as a reality check. What other "truths" in your life are actually true and not merely biases created by the agenda's of others around you.
Let truth alone influence you, question all hearsay. Be a leader, not a follower.
Not to mention the fact that Linux has some very smart people, with a history of reverse engineering stuff for compatibility; and breaking any advanced DRM system is an honor onto itself.
I await the patent on how to DRM photons.
Relating to the rest of your points, I am not convinced that it is that difficult to mix protected and non-protected graphics. The untrusted software tells the graphics card a square region of the screen where the movie should be played, and streams the cipher text to the card. When the graphics card goes to render a frame for the physicall display, it first renders the the protected content, then renders any unprotected content from the software. Where the two overlap, the protected content simply gets hidden by the unprotected content. Obviously, all of this rendering would happen in an undisplayed buffer, so the user only sees the finished frame.
It's all simple and obvious until you try to implement it on real hardware.
If this were something that they were interested in having, they would have had Netflix on Chrome on 'regular GNU desktop' Linux months ago when it started working with Chrome on a Linux kernel with ChromeOS.
Proprietary graphics stuff in Linux has always been a world of hurt anyway (despite the lower performance it was a godsend when progress on the radeon drivers started to accelerate). I would expect few Linux users to be thrilled about compromising their streamlined modern Linux installation to watch netflix when a separate Roku or smartphone would do. (I know I would never go for this proposal. It would not be worth the grief to be plunged back into 2005. Not on the computer that I try to get work done on...)
They are not going to do anything that will only help a very fraction of their subscribers but would streamline, let alone automate, the ripping process.
The only reason for it not to be ought to be that netflix doesn't have any content of interest or of too low quality.
Premium Media Extensions (which we should probably just call Proprietary Media Extensions) sounds like a marketing name for EME+CDM. We should not let major media providers co-opt the term "premium" to mean "encrypted" or "blessed by Hollywood".
Content wise, YouTube has way more content to convert to be able to take advantage of HTML5. I wonder if Netflix is having to convert video on the backend for this as well. Or if they're just using a base format that allows for delivery over Silverlight and HTML5 without having to re-encode and store. But they wouldn't really be re-encoding on the fly though, would they? That would seem to be hugely resource intensive. Does anyone know more about how they're doing this on the backend?
That's because of the ads. With things like ClickToFlash or youtube-dl, you notice that most videos are actually available as MPEG4 and/or WebM.
They won't. They're using H.264 video, which all major browsers can play in HTML5 <video> tags now. Not so sure how they'd handle stuff like multiple audio tracks though - as far as I know they're bit of an issue now even if muxed with the video, and if you don't want to load extra audio tracks then you're pretty much out of luck since there's no decent way to play video and audio separately in sync with HTML5 at the moment (a combination of <video> and <audio> isn't exactly that reliable for this).
Although we may interpret "premium" to connote "better", the usage meaning "something you have to pay" is accurate.
Perhaps we could take back the language and start referring to the extensions as "Media Fee Extensions"?
I think in this case it's just a meaningless word introduced to make it sound better than the "proprietary plugins" like Silverlight and Flash. I think their alternatives were naming it like "Awesome Viewing Experience Extension" or "Netflix True HD Vision Extension", or something like that.
In each case they wouldn't mean what they normally mean, and would be used in a misleading way just to give you a "good feeling" about having DRM on the web.
But the accurate words have negative connotations so they avoid them on purpose and try to use positive ones which may be technically accurate but wouldn't be how anyone would normally choose to describe them. This is the definition of spin.
Microsoft has not confirmed IE11 will be supported in any OS other than Windows 8.1.
Older versions of IE, including IE10 on Windows 7, will still require Silverlight, meaning it still will not die.
If this is to be a nail in Silverlight's coffin, it's a very tiny one.
Edit: Per freehunter's comment below, Microsoft has confirmed eventual IE11 support for Windows 7.
I guess that's good for everyone, though, since it means IE won't have a huge market share anymore.
(and yes, it's hard not to view the Netflix/MS situation cynically)
That said, ditching that godawful Silverlight plugin, is probably a welcome change from the customer experience perspective.
All you are going to have is a fancy API with nothing to plug into it.
* Web Cryptography API, edited by Mozilla and Google
* Media Source Extensions, edited by Google, Microsoft and Netflix
* Encrypted Media Extensions, edited by Google, Microsoft and Netflix
These are not pseudo standards pushed only by Microsoft. ChromeOS already supports two of these specs.
What's annoying is that you can run netflix on linux right now via `netflix-desktop`, which combines `firefox`, `silverlight` and a modified copy of `wine` to access their site.
If they switch over to these new plugins and the plugins are IE-specific, we'll be locked out again.
I don't hear much about it anymore, particularly in the enterprise and the video provider space in which I currently work, where things like Verimatrix and Azuki are mentioned far more often than Flash/Silverlight.
Anyone have any intel on any major projects that use Silverlight aside from Netflix?
...Except you'd have to install Windows 8.1 and use IE11 in order to use the "wonderful" HTML5 Netflix with their proprietary DRM blob that has even less compatibility than Flash and Silverlight.
As this involves three different specs, which are all from the W3C, this means that it will work in any browser that implements them, and supports the DRM that Netflix uses.
Microsoft and Google are already on board. I expect Opera will inherit this from Blink/Chromium. As both YouTube and Netflix support this already, I wouldn’t be surprised to see WebKit and Firefox/Gecko implement it eventually.
Far more exciting than IE11
H.264 video codec is on pretty much every major browser now, including Firefox. This wasn’t the case when browsers first supported the video element. It is a similar situation to EME and friends today. Including the potential licensing fee (I assume vendors have to licence the DRM module to plug into EME or get it from the underlying OS in the same way to how they have to licence H.264, but I'm not sure about this area)