An invitation to the free-software community for real dialog

This is an open invitation to all people in the free-software community for genuine person-to-person dialog with people in the W3C staff about DRM on the Web (and any other topics of importance to the Web we all have an interest in discussing).

We have a People of the W3C page that lists the names and e-mail addresses of all the W3C staff, and we always welcome you to contact us about the work we are doing together for the Web. Along with that we have a Contact page that includes more details about how to find us.

We believe this invitation from us to you for real person-to-person dialog is a much more constructive route to mutual understanding and change than approaches such as the recent campaign (under the apparent aegis of the Free Software Foundation) which you might have seen, that encourages you to instead go by a W3C office to just “take a protest selfie” in demonstration against “DRM in HTML”.

As the announcement about that campaign suggests, if you live near a W3C office, “you have a unique opportunity to make a difference”—but that opportunity is actually for much more than just snapping a selfie next to a W3C sign. Instead you have a chance to talk with real people who care a great deal about the Web and its future—just as you do—and to find out things we agree about with each other, and problems we can work on solving together.

We’re all real people. So let’s treat each other like real people, and don’t instead let someone else make you try to shoehorn yourself into any narrative they want to construct about fearless activists doing battle against some faceless uncaring entity.

So if you care enough yourself to make time to visit a W3C office in person, please consider not doing it only to take a selfie in front of a W3C sign and then leave. Instead, make it an opportunity to actually meet the people at your nearby W3C office who care deeply about a lot of same things you do, and chat with some of us person-to-person over a cup of coffee (or hey, maybe even some after-work drinks somewhere nearby).

The announcement about the “take a protest selfie” campaign claims to have “reliable advice” that it will be “very influential to the W3C’s leadership”. But I have a lot more reliable advice for you: The open invitation for real person-to-person conversation, that we as people are offering you right here, is an opportunity to be much more influential.


8 thoughts on “An invitation to the free-software community for real dialog

  1. Ni!

    I think the tone of this post is quite inappropriate given how much feedback and effort for real dialogue free software activists have already provided and engaged in through the diverse means mentioned in the post itself and the related posts.

    If, as you suggest, real dialogue is not taking place, it is not the free-software community’s fault, but a lack of acknowledgment from the W3C of its impact in taking the position to openwash DRM and the actual harm caused and opportunity missed in that.

    The open web, and therefore its institutions, should support business models that don’t defeat the open web. This is not new to the history of trade associations defending humanitarian values. (If you wanna go to extremes, think of their role in abolition campaigns).

    I was yesterday at the W3C Paris building yesterday night to take a picture as I felt it necessary to help raise public awareness and pressure the W3C leadership to open itself to real dialogue.

    I hope others follow suite and I hope/understand from the above message that W3C will be present at Libreplanet at MIT next week to continue our dialogue, as you’re so close by.


  2. Thank you for this Article. You from W3 you give always good text, that i love to read.

  3. I am very agree with Ale Abdo, but I think having this kind of discussion can make difference however, lots of good words come out from it.

  4. Maybe you think people don’t read your texts. But I do:

    “This specification does not create nor impose a content protection or Digital Rights Management system. Rather, it defines a common API that may be used to discover, select and interact with such systems as well as with simpler content encryption systems.”

    so you are telling me, you are not allowing DRM, but you are allowing scheme to allow DRM and other DRM-alike systems.

    I don’t want hidden encrypted systems on my computer. Why would you make a standard that someone may put on my computer what they want?

    I don’t need this. I don’t want this. I am member of free software community and THIS is the way to speak, as I cannot reach any local W3C office. Please stop with the nonsense.

    Is it not so simple? Why would you put ANYTHING encrypted that cannot be decrypted on someone’s computer? There is an answer to that.

    It is for money.

    So are you working for money or for the world.

  5. Hi,

    i think talking is always better than “shooting”. I people from both sides will come to an arrangement and but the dispute beside. Its better for both.

    Greets from Germany

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