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He Said/He Said: Berners-Lee & Doctorow on DRM

At the recent SXSW, Sir Tim Berners-Lee reportedly said during a post-presentation question & answer session, “If we don’t put the hooks for the use of DRM in, people will just go back to using Flash.” (Link:

Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow then published a piece in The Guardian telling Sir Tim why he’s wrong to support DRM. (Link:

3 Responses to He Said/He Said: Berners-Lee & Doctorow on DRM

  • Christian Horn

    The article compares DRM in HTML5 to CSS and Region Codes on DVDs. I dissagree with that comparison, since DRM in HTML5 would allow companies to legally provide movies to consumer devices without having to develope and setup cost intensive applications, since the web browser would simply be able to play it. Plus it will hopefully be an interoperable and device independent system.

    For the honest customer who is willing to pay for their entertainment DRM should be included so that the studios can feel save and the customer gets what he wants.

    Adding DRM to HTML5 will not forbid web portals to provide non DRMed content!! I think that is missunderstood often. So for the consumer unwilling to pay for their personal entertainment there will still be enough web portals who will give free-of-charge satisfaction…


    • Andreas Kuckartz

      “the web browser would simply be able to play it”

      No Open Source browser will be able to play video streams “protected” by EME and realistic Content Protection Modules.


    • Duncan Bayne

      “Plus it will hopefully be an interoperable and device independent system.”

      Several people – with the worrying inclusion of the W3C CEO – have made claims like that recently.

      The evidence so far is entirely to the contrary; consider e.g. Netflix (one of the sponsors of EME) refusing to support GNU/Linux.

      Do you have any evidence that the presence of an EME standard would change this? Or is it just wishful thinking?


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