Chrome and Firefox's sandboxes, meanwhile, are both open-source. You can inspect what powers the EME module might possibly have, and know that it can't gain any more. A vulnerability in the code is unlikely to be able to do anything other than pirate your download of Game of Thrones — and that's assuming it even has general-purpose network access. Ideally, a vulnerability would be able to do nothing other than modify the video you see, but the remote site could achieve that by encoding a modified video in the first place.
As far as the general moral arguments about DRM go, it's true that the new boss is the same as the old boss. But the bulk of the EFF's argument against Flash in this blog post is about security, not about open content, and it's important to acknowledge that EME is a significant step forward. The new boss is sitting in a tightly locked cage.
EME as originally conceived is about security for vendors, yes. But Firefox and Chrome, which take their roles as user agent seriously, made sure the spec is one that they can also implement securely on their end. This is a ridiculously huge improvement over NPAPI.
Browser plugins can restrict your freedom in two ways:
1. They can monitor and restrict what you do with the content you're accessing through the plugin.
2. They can monitor and restrict what you do with ANYTHING ELSE IN THE BROWSER OR ANYWHERE ON YOUR COMPUTER.
EME-restricted video can do 1, but cannot do 2. This is not a complete victory for freedom, but it's a significant step forward.
Most of us do not live in a free-software utopia where we have direct control over every part of our machine from the firmware on up. (Although I have a lot of respect for the people who are trying to get us there!) Even if we're running a free OS, we assume, against our better judgment, that the firmware is doing only what it should be doing. If it's not, then it throws the rest of our freedom out the window.
Sandboxing EME allows us to ensure that one non-free part of the system, if we can't get rid of it, is restricted to doing only what it says it can do. This is a lot better than the status quo for any mixed free/non-free system (including free OS/non-free firmware). It's not quite the same as getting rid of it or making it free, but it's certainly not nothing.
A major issue is that arbitrary code can do arbitrary things, up to and including installing rootkits on your machine (for example, the Sony rootkit debacle). The sandbox means it can only do what the sandbox allows it to - in the case of Firefox's sandbox, that's very little.
"I should be able to watch whatever content I want on my system without installing proprietary software, even if that software is highly sandboxed and can't even see anything on my system and can't cause any permanent changes" is a political and moral issue more than a technical one.
Or use a free and open source browser that doesn't implement it. If this is something people want to take a principled stance against, those browsers will doubtlessly continue to exist.
Unless you're referring the content access. That's a general trend with technology that likely won't be stopped. If you choose not to use certain technologies, it's unsurprising that you won't be granted access to certain things.
I would like to see a security audit on that claim.
No saving means :
No time shifting, no device shifting, no legal fair use.
It does prevent these uses, however, unless the content provider explicitly provides it. The US law says that the content provider does not need to explicitly allow it; it's a right granted to the user by copyright law.
Cool, can you show me how to play the content on my portable MP4 player please.
Unfortunately, no. I think you may be getting tripped up by the phrase "effective technological measures" - being "effective" is a very, very low bar. To quote s296ZF of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988:
“technological measures” are any technology, device or component which is designed, in the normal course of its operation, to protect a copyright work other than a computer program.
(2)Such measures are “effective” if the use of the work is controlled by the copyright owner through—
(a)an access control or protection process such as encryption, scrambling or other transformation of the work, or
(b)a copy control mechanism,
which achieves the intended protection.
Yeah, that's not true. Sandbox security is not perfect.
Sandboxed plugins are definitely are an improvement in security over non-sandboxed ones, but running untrusted code in a sandbox is still running untrusted code on your machine. At the very least that has to be considered one level of privilege escalation that's just being handed to malicious coders for free.
Sandboxes are great. I'd love to see open source code run inside sandboxes, because even if the code has been audited, because even if I know the code isn't trying to do anything bad, it might have vulnerabilities that let other people do bad things. Running closed-source EME code inside a sandbox is still an unnecessary risk, though, because we have no way of verifying whether that code is secure and in fact that code might be an attacker itself.
asm.js and various obfuscators allow websites to do this in the first place with closed-source code, with a far larger attack service than the EME sandbox. In not a lot of time from now, they quite reasonably could.
I don't really think anyone has a problem with giving the latest episodes of Homeland and Downton Abbey to our political elite.
> You are absolutely deluded, if not stupid, if you think that a worldwide collection of software engineers who can't write operating systems or applications without security holes, can then turn around and suddenly write virtualization layers without security holes.
Net net, given the choice of extensive plug-ins vs. virtualization, I'll go with the latter.
That said, PPAPI is Chrome-only; EME is a standard, and Mozilla's implementation even outlines a way for other browsers to integrate the EME module Mozilla uses, plus their sandbox, into their own browsers.
Firefox also uses some kind of sandbox for plugins (like Flash) but yes, their planned sandbox for EME is stricter.
>> EME is a standard,
That's the heart of the problem. It guarantees the fact that web technologies are not open technologies anymore.
>> Mozilla's implementation
Mozilla dropped the ball years ago when it comes to proprietary techs. I see little difference between Firefox and Chrome on that matter.
I have a hard time seeing how implementing DRM provides any value to media companies, other than a false sense of security.
Yes, DRM developers lie to us and claim that this is about stopping infringement. But that's only a pretense. They know that it only impacts non-infringing users. But they like having more control and power over the non-infringing users.
* What devices and equipment can view it
* Time limits on watching
* Regional lockouts
* Time shifted viewing
The movie industry fights tooth and nail to "manage" our rights, not just with DRM by plain RM. In NZ for example there is a ban on parallel importing films for a period after release! Here is something interesting: http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20.... Choice quote: "The 5-month ban will effectively give cinemas a further 1 or 2 months to exclusively screen films without competition.". Feast your eyes on the pandering! There is no "transition" period going on. It's the movie theatres using laws to prop up their new business model of stealing 20 minutes of your time and selling it to advertisers, after taking 20NZD admission.
I think your point is exactly correct, DRM does little, if anything from stopping illegitimate actors, but it does serve to manipulate and control legitimate users (for example preventing them from using the DRM content on certain devices, thus requiring them to potentially purchae it again.)
I think it's a much simpler explanation that companies really do hope that DRM will reduce casual illegal copying and sharing, even though they know it can't absolutely stop determined people.
The lock is a tool of the user against third-parties.
Doctorow's Law: "Anytime someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn't give you the key, they're not doing it for your benefit."
A lock you have the key to is nothing like DRM.
kmonsen is making the point that door locks on homes don't actually stop determined burglars. The only reason they work is because most people are relatively honest and aren't willing to take the step of breaking the lock (however trivial that may be), even if they'd otherwise happily open an unlocked door and walk in.
Not only that, but the fact that a door is locked almost certainly has legal implications for trespassers (though I don't know if that's really applicable to house door locks as much as it might be to locks on doors leading from public areas of commercial buildings to private ones).
My suspicion is that they have contractual agreements with the non-technical folks in the studios that they have to "encrypt" content, and the technically-competent redistributor has no direct interest in the crypto being sound. If the API gave them 256-bit military-grade AES encryption, but only in ECB mode, they'd probably use it.
Except ... that I seem to be able to access most online video content (certainly on YouTube, Vimeo, and other major sites) via youtube-dl.
And hugely prefer to do so. It's much more useful for me to be able to queue, speed up / slow down, pause, resize and otherwise manipulate video with consistent controls than to have the limited (and varied) interfaces various online video / multimedia sites offer.
I've got a video playing as I write this, well, paused, at 133% playback speed, in a small 250px x 190px window -- when I can give it my focus again I'll simply mouse over it and tap 'space' to resume playback. If I want to skip back a few seconds, or a minute, the left or down keyboard arrows do that for me. As they do for all video I play. I can also normalized audio levels (many are too low, this one's actually got a tendency to clip), and more.
The issue with DRM on video is one which lawful consumers of content has to deal with, and those who run programs which is infected by said DRM.
I was actually inquiring as to how such use is impacted by the decision. I've found few or none. Then again, there's little commercial content I've interest in regardless.
You agree not to access Content through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Service itself, the Embeddable Player, or other explicitly authorized means YouTube may designate.
Of course some basic laws have been added since the birth of the web. You are not allowed to flood a site with requests and so on. But the principle that browsers and websites are separate entities still applies.
If you want full control over your users clients, create your own protocol and your own client. As long as you use open protocols on the web, you implicitly agree to the contracts of the www and have to live with the fact, that the user chooses his client.
By default, yes, but if you then explicitly override that with robots.txt or a TOS, those take precedent. (Again, I'm not talking legally here, just what's been the cultural custom for the past 20 years or so. In other words, if you ignore either and then get banned, I don't think many netizens would shed a tear for you.)
The court went with the side of the cable company, even if many commentates disagree. What effect a Swedish case can have on German law depend, but using European court case as guides is quite common in Swedish courts if there is no other prior cases. Same might apply for German courts.
It is part of the bigger problem, that courts do not understand every aspect of our complex society and have to listen to experts, which just defers to problem to the election of these experts. You do not want to give them the power either, because they are easier to lobby than justices.
I just hope, that a generation of justices and politician arises, that understands basic principles the web is built on. Like links, that give the web its name, and how they work, who can control them and so on.
check out number 5.
Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content
for your information and personal use solely as intended
through the provided functionality of the Service and as
permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not
download any Content unless you see a “download” or
similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that
I'm thinking it's the photoshop theory of DRM, just enough to ward off grandma, not enough to prevent photoshop from being replaced as the dominant image manipulation suite.
Note that the claim was not that it's illegal or unethical or wrong, simply that YouTube itself (rather explicitly) declares that they don't authorize this use of the site.
Edited to add: Widevine, the (Google-owned) decryption module Chrome uses, has no license fees. http://www.widevine.com/
If it is then I can't even imagine what its purpose is supposed to be. If my "hardware" is a virtual machine that captures the video output to a file then the blob isn't even doing anything. And if it's not hardware-independent then there are obviously going to be innumerable minority platforms that it doesn't support.
I think you might be too optimistic on this one.
Not to mention most of these are probably running with 512Mb to 2GB RAM (G5 iMacs go to 2GB, PowerMacs to 8GB, some go to 16GB)
But more importantly, the point is not the exact quantity of particular models of PowerMac in existence, the point is that if I have one which is otherwise capable of it, this nonsense interferes with me doing it.
And the same goes for every other thing that doesn't fit a mold. What about Linux on a PS3? What if I have a PA-RISC/Itanium/Power/etc Unix workstation? What if I'm using X forwarding so that my "browser" is really running on an UltraSPARC server?
It breaks anything the central planning committee didn't contemplate a priori or can't be bothered to fix. And it's not just old hardware, it's anything new or different. It keeps new platforms from getting off the ground.
Completion of legal agreements
Delivery of a Widevine documentation package
Technical discussion to understand the device type, chipset, and review the Widevine robustness rules
Exchange of libraries, SDKs, and integration documentation
Keybox request and fulfillment (as needed)
Client integration testing
Anyhow, if everyone agree to make the binaries 100% free as in beer (like Cisco did with H.264), then that's better than nothing and makes writing new browsers easier.
But the future is in new devices, operating systems, and virtualization. Being provided binaries limits freedom to make new things. And of course who knows what backdoors are in them.
(Edit to add: this is a great discussion, http://www.reddit.com/r/debian/comments/25kbi7/next_firefox_... -- note that the tracking/privacy/backdoor issues with this are huge.)
Anyway, even if you can download and sandbox the Adobe module it might be a violation of the license agreement. This can even be a criminal offence in many countries because of special laws about circumventing DRM!
What about operating systems and hardware platforms not supported by Adobe or Google? PowerPC, MIPS, Tizen, *BSD, etc.
It looks like this with Cisco's OpenH264 plugin and Adobe's CDM: https://aus4-dev.allizom.org/update/3/GMP/36.0a1/20120222174...
Four of them are also working on their own mobile devices/OS. Which gives them even more incentive to lock out competition.
Which is why we only have a handful of competitive browser engines today, and all of them are based on code at least 15 years old. The last time somebody created a serious new mainstream browser (that wasn't just a re-skin of an existing one) was 7 years ago, and it was still largely based on existing code, despite having the backing of one of the biggest tech corporations on the planet. The standards have become vastly larger and more complex since then, and security and performance expectations much higher. Just keeping up with all the new standards is hugely expensive. The cost of a DRM module from Adobe is surely the least of your worries if you want to create and maintain a new browser.
We're working on one (Servo) :)
Standardization is a good thing, but you're being a bit selective claiming web standards have always been open and source available. It doesn't always happen that way. It didn't happen that way for image codecs, for example.
Second, plug-ins most certainly are and have been a Web standard.
NPAPI was implemented in multiple browsers from multiple different vendors and has been used by dozens of major software companies and thousands of lesser companies, commercial and open source, for browser integrated features.
That you don't consider de facto standards to be standards doesn't mean they aren't.
As for "the open web", nothing changes. Content that was DRM free will continue to be DRM free, content that wasn't DRM free will still remain DRM. If anything we are slightly better off as one more proprietary has bitten the dust.
As with a lot of things, the next steps aren't technical. Organizations like the EFF should be working with content providers to educate them on the benefits of being DRM free. A much harder task than firing off press releases.
You're wrong about this. That is an excellent outcome. Large companies want the universal application that free software enjoys, but with none of the respect for the users it requires.
I have absolutely no problem with companies having huge problems locking users in. If we had 2 or 3 proprietary standards to implement DRM that things worse for users, that's a good thing.
"Why is this so hard to do?" The answer should be: "We refuse to make such abhorrent behavior easy", rather than: "It's not"
Making it easy for vendors to dick users over is a bad thing.
Making DRM easy to deploy damages the open web in a very bad way.
> There just isn't enough user demand for freedom to overcome the loss to businesses of losing control of their content.
DRM doesn't prevent businesses losing control of their content. Orange is the New Black has, AFAIK, only ever been distributed through EME, but it's all over the Pirate Bay, every single episode.
> maybe it means coming up with alternate ways to monetize
We have alternate ways to monetize. The simplest being doing exactly what they are doing except not DRM-ing their content, which demonstrably has worked for multiple content distributors. There are others.
DRM isn't about controlling content or monetize that content. It's about maintaining an outdated business model because business executives don't understand the internet. Which would be fine, except that it's hurting the open web.
This isn't even close to true. Netflix has a ton of non browser delivery mechanisms. It may only have been delivered with drm but that's a different thing and I don't know enough to know if that's true.
Maybe that’s a bad example. But I’ll put out this challenge: find me a reasonably popular TV show that’s supposedly completely covered by DRM, and I’ll find you a torrent for it. My point is that DRM does nothing to prevent piracy.
I'm not saying they can't be stubborn. But I have a trouble believing that as outsiders we can really see all of the factors involved in these business decisions. Maybe there are different levels of sophistication from this camp, but I also remember people saying that piracy would actually help CD sales because it spread the word about artists. How many platinum records have there been in the last 5 years? I'm inclined to think there's something at play here, something that really hits their bottom line, that we're not considering. "Business people are stupid", while possible, is a hard line to swallow, they didn't get rich by being stupid.
I’m not saying they’re stupid. I’m not even saying that the insistence on DRM is stupid, I’m just saying it’s wrong. It’s an understandable mistake—it’s hard to understand the capabilities of the internet.
> Maybe there are different levels of sophistication from this camp, but I also remember people saying that piracy would actually help CD sales because it spread the word about artists. How many platinum records have there been in the last 5 years?
This is a completely irrelevant point. Of course piracy hurts sales. But DRM doesn’t solve this problem, and I see no purpose pretending that it does.
I’ll be happy to revise my opinion if a DRM scheme emerges which actually works.
> I'm inclined to think there's something at play here, something that really hits their bottom line, that we're not considering.
Well, yes. There’s something else at play here, which is that having closed-source access is useful to corporations for reasons that have nothing to do with DRM. For example, having more closed-source access to users’ machines means that they can collect more data on their users without their users knowing.
Yes, there are things we don't know, but it's a pretty big leap to assume that these unknowns are good reasons to concede on an open web. If there are unknown reasons that companies want closed internet, there is nothing stopping them from presenting those reasons in the court of public opinion. I suspect the reason they are fighting the DRM issue is that it comes across as defending artists' rights, and the real reasons companies want to run untrusted, unaudited code on our machines are things you'd feel less sympathetic about.
It wouldn't just be a mistake, it'd be a mistake followed by an industry-wide refusal to admit to the mistake, over and over again. I suppose iTunes could be a counterexample, but (from a brief search) the DRM-free stuff is for music. I think movies still have it.
> This is a completely irrelevant point. Of course piracy hurts sales.
Sorry, sometimes I gloss over things and my point doesn't get across properly. I know this is irrelevant to the current point. What I'm bringing up here is another claim I remember hearing from a camp that claims to know better than the music industry executives. Perhaps it's unfair to lump you all together, it's just part of why I'm skeptical to hear this stuff now.
> Yes, there are things we don't know, but it's a pretty big leap to assume that these unknowns are good reasons to concede on an open web.
Probably me being unclear again. I didn't say we should concede on an open web. When I talk about "good reasons", I'm talking from the executives' point of view. It sounds like you're talking about some sort of universal good. I'm saying that there's what we want, which is an open web, which we shouldn't give up on, and there's what they want. All I'm talking about is understanding our opponents' incentives, and not assuming too quickly that it's just based on them making a mistake.
Okay, it sounds like we're vehemently agreeing with each other.
The thing is, these executives have done a very good job of controlling the discourse and making this a conversation about content ownership. But the fact is, there are only two possibilities here: 1. They are actually so stupid that they don't know DRM doesn't protect content ownership (which, I agree, is unlikely) or 2. They know that DRM doesn't work, but they don't want their real reasons for gutting the open web to be publicly known.
What I want to do is make the conversation not about DRM any more, because it's clearly that DRM doesn't work. Given that, we should look at the possibilities for why companies might want EME on our computers. And you don't have to look very far into those possibilities to see that they're really scary, which underscores the need for a truly completely open web.
In short, the DRM conversation makes companies who want to run their untrusted code on our machines as harmless idiots who just think that DRM will help their sales. But they aren't idiots, and they aren't harmless.
The idea that any sort of rental arrangement for video content is "outdated" reflects your own wishes, not the facts on the ground. The technology exists to provide good enough guarantees for the content providers, and it remains a popular choice with consumers. You're right that pirates have figured out how to break the DRM on Orange Is The New Black and distribute copies of it. What they haven't figured out is a new business model where consumers buy the majority of their content a la carte rather than getting much of it from subscriptions (Netflix/Hulu/Amazon type subscriptions or cable/satellite subscriptions) and rentals and theatrical exhibition.
> Is any sort of video rental or subscription model outdated?
I’m not sure why you’re asking me that, I never said that.
> And why is it outdated?
Because DRM does exactly nothing to prevent piracy, and hurts users.
> DRM may not be able to provide 100% ironclad copy protection, but it provides roughly the same level of copy protection that video rental has before, probably better if you're comparing to VHS or DVD.
And how much copy protection is that?
Here’s a fun experiment: go on The Pirate Bay and search for Orange is the New Black, then tell me how effective you think DRM is.
Piracy is far easier now than it was in the VHS or DVD eras. In the VHS or DVD eras you at least had to have some access to a controlled version of the content in order to copy it. Now you can go on a torrent site and search for something you’ve never heard of and people you’ll never meet will serve it to you for free.
So no, DRM does not provide roughly the same level of copy protection as video rental.
Content providers will stick with technologies like Flash because HTML5 alone could not provide EME. Lack of such feature set HTML5 backwards because huge content providers would shy away from using web as the dominant platform of media delivery.
The alternative is non-DRM browsers. EME does nothing to protect content, so the "content is their bread and butter" argument doesn't work.
> Content providers will stick with technologies like Flash because HTML5 alone could not provide EME.
Or, they'd give up on EME because all the major platforms were hostile to it and it provides them no defensible value.
> Lack of such feature set HTML5 backwards because huge content providers would shy away from using web as the dominant platform of media delivery.
Including EME sets the web platform back because we no longer have control of that part of our browsers.
That's absurd. Netflix would sooner stop supporting web browsers on desktop OS's before they started allowing DRM-free streaming. Regardless of your own view on DRM, Netflix's licenses to the content they provide almost certainly requires the use of DRM, and the companies that own the content would never be willing to relicense them for DRM-free streaming.
Without EME, Netflix would be relying on proprietary browser plugins forever, and if a platform with a significant userbase appeared that didn't support any form of proprietary plugin, and they wanted to support that platform, they'd develop their own proprietary application for it instead of providing DRM-free streaming (think of how Netflix has applications for mobile OS's and even consoles, both living room consoles and handheld consoles).
Don't be so sure. People were saying exactly this several years ago about music. We owe it to Jobs that he realized it's stupid idea, and put an end to it.
> they'd develop their own proprietary application for it instead of providing DRM-free streaming (think of how Netflix has applications for mobile OS's and even consoles, both living room consoles and handheld consoles).
That seems better to me, than poisoning a whole standard just to get their way, or the highway.
You don't rent out stuff and let people keep it after they stop renting.
> That seems better to me, than poisoning a whole standard just to get their way, or the highway.
The open web has been losing a lot of traction to a closed competitor on iOS and Android. Businesses in China are on WeChat long before they are on the web. Giving up streamed music and video completely to apps would damage the world wide web immensely by shifting more user to over to closed app systems. The web would go the way of the newsgroup.
The open web lost a lot of traction to a closed competitor when it integrated EME.
Your argument here is basically "companies won't use the open web, so we shouldn't have an open web".
Music and video have always been very different markets. Among other things, music has always been available in high quality form without DRM (on CDs). And the consumer habits around music are different than those of video. And as wodenkoto said, we're talking here about streaming video, not purchased music
Don't buy into this nonsense Jobs sainthood. He was a person who went whichever way the wind was blowing.
And they should! They distribute proprietary software, so they should be able to deal with relying on other proprietary software.
This idea that we must sacrifice the ideology of the web for the benefit of large corporations like Netflix is completely insane.
So let them, and let a competitor arise that allows a similar service with DRM-free streaming. That's what the free market is for. I'm not sure why implementers of the open web should care about Netflix's concerns.
> Without EME, Netflix would be relying on proprietary browser plugins forever, and if a platform with a significant userbase appeared that didn't support any form of proprietary plugin, and they wanted to support that platform, they'd develop their own proprietary application for it instead of providing DRM-free streaming (think of how Netflix has applications for mobile OS's and even consoles, both living room consoles and handheld consoles).
So let them do that and suffer the consequences of the inferior user experience that would provide.
The reason you don't see any DRM-free video streaming of non-independent content is because the content producers require DRM. They won't license their content without it. It's quite literally not possible for a DRM-free Netflix competitor to arise, because they'd have no content (or at least, no content worth watching).
And the DRM does absolutely nothing to stop anyone from doing whatever they want with it. DRM punishes paying customers at the expense of being a slight pain-in-the-ass for pirates. Plain and simple: they delivered content to my computer and I have a key to decrypt it - there's nothing stopping me from doing whatever I want with those bits but the time to break their silly DRM scheme.
Had Apple, Google, Netflix et al. the backbone enough to stand up to the media companies, we'd never have been inflicted with such stupidity. Now, Google's taking it upon themselves to start using their own DRM module with their own media - so much for the company that prided itself on Do No Evil.
It's a quirk of classical information theory that you can't transmit a piece of data for a limited period of time. As an approximation, they apply a silly DRM scheme that takes time to break, and ask customers if they are willing to pay for time-limited access.
Unlike with DRM on music downloads or (worse) physical copies of software or games, there's no expectations mismatch here. If you sell a download, the average buyer expects to be able to copy that download, etc. If you stream a movie, the average buyer no more expects to be able to retain a copy than the average movie-ticket holder does. They didn't think they paid for a copy of those bits for all time.
There's nothing stopping someone who visits a movie theater from doing whatever they want with those photons, other than the time to build a sufficiently concealed camera, is there? And pirates do show up to movie premieres with concealed cameras... but would you argue that the security guards stopping you from carrying in a giant camcorder are "punishing paying customers" while not effectively deterring pirates?
If they paying customer would pay anyway, it is punishing, because it requires that they: are limited to the set of browsers that support the DRM scheme, are limited to the platforms that the DRM scheme is available for, and perhaps most importantly, the content provider can dictate rules that may not considered to be entirely fair. E.g. Netflix makes it impossible to temporarily download a copy to view when you don't have a (high-bandwidth) internet connection (e.g. those of us traveling a lot outside their country).
Also, if DRM was not supported by the technology companies, it would be more attractive to come up with a form of subscription that would offer both streaming and downloading.
'Pirating' doesn't have all these downsides.
Of course, on the flip-side for many people DRM-ed 7.99 p/m streaming services are more price-effective than the previous 7.99 per album DRM-free purchases. But you may be left out if you run FreeBSD or Linux on non-x86_64.
How is that punishing a paying customer?
Just like games, pirates don't have issues with online license verification,since they play pirated games that got rid of them.
Obviously vendors did a nice job not only brainwashing the legislator but also the client.
I think that we are remembering "DRM" from the days of DRM'd downloads, which was a terrible thing, and applying that memory here where it does not fit.
I hear what the proponents of DRM-encumbered browsers are saying - media streaming companies control huge chunks of our popular culture, and significant political power, and it's expedient to give in to their demands and stop threatening their business model. But when I look back at the last thousands years of technological progress, I cannot bring myself to say "yes, this is good enough. We should legislatively freeze our technology at early-21st-century levels forever." Our civilisation has benefited from technology so much already, I can't in good conscience deny people the benefits of future technology, even in exchange for the right to stream Game of Thrones.
I'm so sick of seeing Game of Thrones offered as the standard example. Sure, HBO has more more money than any of us would know what to do with. I, on the other hand, make my living working on films with budgets that only amount to a few hundreds of thousands of dollars, and believe me that does not go very far - the lower cost of digital vs. celluloid film is only one line item in the production process, whereas you still have to pay for locations, costumes, props, housing, transport, food, lighting, and a whole bunch of other things before you even get to handing out any wages.
It's very, very hard to monetize a low-budget film. And there's constant downward pressure on production budgets, because indie films don't usually have fat box-office payoffs, and instead depend on small-scale releases in festivals and the art-house cinema circuit, followed by (you hope) some international box office and (you really hope) a long tail of DVD/streaming sales. And that long tail is highly vulnerable to piracy, and the existence of piracy is a big deterrent to investors.
So when you're saying Big Studio makes enough money with their latest superhero franchise movie, or HBO makes enough money with their huge base of cable subscriptions, and so you don't feel bad about pirating Superhero 4 or Game of Thrones well sure, I understand that - none of the producers are in any danger of losing their shirts, everyone on the cast and crew got paid handsomely at the fairly generous rates their guilds/unions have negotiated over the years, and the shareholders still make plenty of money and get a nice dividend check every quarter.
On the other hand, lots of smaller content providers are getting fucked financially because it's a lot harder to answer the question of 'how will investors make their money back?' than it was a few years ago. So spare me the stereotypes of evil media barons trying to stop the brave plucky technological underdogs. That same technology is also massively disruptive to creative professionals and small businesses that work outside the Big Media tent, and actively hinders their ability to make a living.
As you point out, it's already hard to monetize a low-budget film and it's not getting any easier. But that's not because people are freeloaders or because they refuse to allocate their resources responsibly (although both may be true). Ultimately, the real problem is that the world changed, and things that had been difficult became easy. We can't put the genie of general-purpose computing back in the bottle, and I think it would be irresponsible to lock it down in its current state. The only reasonable alternative is to move forward: this will mean a great economic upheaval for artists, just like the invention of the printing press and recorded music and television were, but I don't think that's a deal-killer. Humans have been creating art, with or without economic recompense, for thousands of years, they're not going to stop now.
Humans have been creating art, with or without economic recompense, for thousands of years, they're not going to stop now.
And for the longest time art was the preserve of the wealthiest segment of society that used it as means of keeping the population in line. The idea that people who work in the arts should not be allowed to use technology to monetize the product of their labor is a bunch of self-serving bullshit. Nobody is entitled to have an artwork they produce become successful, but if it does become successful (in terms of people wanting to watch/listen/read) then they're entitled to something in return for the utility their product has provided to the consumer.
How do you rationalize the movie industries increasing year to year profits with the idea that the entertainment industry is no longer viable?
Although I don't have numbers, it is my impression that many more musicians / songwriters are making a full time living at their music than in the past. In today's world it is a lot easier to 'go at it alone'.
OK, so "no longer viable" is perhaps a bit of hyperbole. Perhaps a better word would be "doomed", which is to say that the economic axioms it was built on are no longer as firmly true as once they were, so the industry cannot continue in its current form indefinitely. It may continue for a little while from sheer momentum, and until the future becomes more evenly distributed, and it may eventually reinvent itself (and I hope it does) in a way that is sustainable under these new conditions, but something's got to change.
> Although I don't have numbers, it is my impression that many more musicians / songwriters are making a full time living at their music than in the past.
My impression is that a lot of these musicians and songwriters are finding fans over the Internet, playing small venues and touring small areas, with maybe the help of a manager or two. When most people think of a phrase like 'rock star', they probably imagine someone who finds fans by paying for lots of radio play, who fills stadiums and tours the world with the help of a giant record label who might have hundreds or thousands of artists signed to it. When I say 'the entertainment industry is doomed', I'm heavy on the 'industry' - the giant record labels, the world tours and saturating advertising are doomed because digital reproduction puts a cap on how much money can be extracted from a particular recording. These musicians and songwriters you talk about have already figured out how to earn a living in the post-Internet era, and I hope they can serve as an example to artists in other media who currently believe that the existing industry must be propped up indefinitely so they can earn a living.
Making a movie is simply not something you can do on your own - it's orders of magnitusde more complex and expensive, in both time and dollar terms. Also, you can't make money on live performances or merchandising swag in the same fashion that musicians do; it's not impossible to build other streams of revenue besides ticket/rental channels, but it's a lot more difficult and the ancillary revenue potential varies enormously with the subject matter.
I often like to think that we don't really need big budget productions; sure, they're fun but they are stifling our culture with marketing, big name actors, risk/controversy-free scripts.
Distribution is the other big problem. The internet has changed/balanced things and it looks like DRM is just attempts to curb that.
My sincere questions for you:
In the end, do you consider DRM good for you?
Also, aren't you afraid that if we keep going like this, with DRM embedded in our OSes and processors (with no alternatives), we will soon reach a point of no return? I'm talking App-Store like distribution, where they get 30% and handle everything for you, even what you're allowed to say.
No, I'm not afraid about the OS thing to be honest. In ~30 years of using computers the trend has continually been in favor of openness, and I think anxiety over DRM taking over OSes and CPUs is wildly overblown, and largely a psychological projection of sociopolitical anxiety.
I'm talking App-Store like distribution, where they get 30% and handle everything for you, even what you're allowed to say.
Well it's not like the existence of DRM means you lose the ability to give it away in another format if nobody wants to publish it on a commercial platform. This, too, is continually getting better in historical terms, and it's an issue I care very much about personally.
This has always been so with DRM: the only ones it inconveniences are the paying customers. Incredible stupidity.
Sorry, but those are bullshit first world problems. Your life is not significantly impacted by this.
You're not the first person to claim this, so I have to wonder: is there an unspoken guideline for finding the "DRM-free video watchers car" where I can hang out with these VLC-using folks?
So, reading about your no netflix in the train inconvenience, I thought: what a great occasion to read plenty of books, or a handful of long and important books that make you a better/finer human being (e.g. Proust).
And there's so much more to HTML5 than video; I disagree that lack of DRM video support would set the rest of HTML5 back in any way.
EDIT: I guess the sandboxing aspect of EME is a significant improvement over Flash running as a plugin.
I know a lot of elearning content creators that really miss being able to use flash for most things... yeah, the player was horrible, and the formats sucked.. but the content creation experience was so nice. Creating data driven projects with Flex wasn't bad either.
I don't get most of the arguments on this thread. And I'm very much on the fence about DRM as a producer of licensed content, and a consumer of it.
It's not a false equivalence fallacy when the alternate argument only inverts the parameters while violating the same logical foundation. And it's insulting to suggest I (or anyone else) have been brainwashed because my world view is a bit more pragmatic than, "give me all the rights."
I'll eat the down votes for that, no problem, because this shouldn't be an adversarial debate between producers and consumers. There may be better ways to approach acknowledging producer rights and consumer usage, even if the consumers who feel their rights are violated are outnumbered by those who have no problem. Sure, the argument could be made, "if only they knew how their rights are being violated!" That argument could be made about any number of situations where one class feels like they need to lift up another one. And it's just as meaningless unless you do something to change the situation.
DRM is evil, blah blah blah, I get it, as a consumer, I do. I also get that there are arguments for DRM that are perfectly valid from the point of view of the producer, even if the consumer thinks that the producer is off his nut. Surely there are people out there on HN who aren't so polarized by this issue? Sometimes, it feels like the US Congress in here.
Refuse to use Netflix and co.!
>Lack of such feature set HTML5 backwards
No, giving in on DRM set it backwards. The web is intended to be "free and open", which means that DRM is not welcome.
There have been several major video DRM solutions in widespread use for many many years including Adobe's Access (in Flash, and other places) Microsoft's PlayReady (in Windows, X-box, Silverlight, etc.) and more recently Google bought WideVine for its DRM offerings and has spent the last 4 or 5 years building that into the Google Chrome and Android platforms.
Pretty much every major video streaming service was/is using a different DRM implementation. That's nothing new at all.
Your suggestion that somehow there's going to be a shift from one to a lot more DRM providers thanks to EME is uninformed and unfounded.
It felt like adobe just rolled over once Steve Jobs declared flash dead. They even bundled mcafee antivirus with the flash download, it's like they just want it to be over.
Open standards are great and all, but the result is that we've had to wait years just for html to catch up to where flash was.
If the ultimate issue is that people want to be able to steal video content with impunity, it all makes perfect sense. If the issue is technical or has to do with software freedom, I'm unconvinced. Not being able to open my old documents because Word 2025 isn't able to read Word 2004 documents is not the same thing as not being able to archive videos of Galavant that I don't have the right to keep.
I can't imagine a worse battleground to stake your argument on than this one, other than servers.
Other sites like vimeo only do mp4
But I still need a <video> tag that works like an <img> tag in that there's at least I format supported by all major broswer venders that works for that tag, that lets me easily save the video for offline viewing, and is completely unencumbered by patents or licensing issues, so anyone else can make a browser supporting it. If that means I have to use a tag called <supercalifragilisticexpialidocious> instead of <video>, I don't really care. I need that functionality. The web needs that functionality.
AAC also requires a per unit license for anyone who manufacturers or developers of a codec: http://www.vialicensing.com/licensing/aac-fees.aspx
So no, neither of them meet the 3 requirements I laid out.