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The foreseen schism

In the past there was a browser, let’s name it AX, which was the most used browser of the world. It was powerfull and shiny by then. Some could have said it was there forever. However, today that has changed and most Internet users know they should not trust AX. It’s huge and full of vulnerabilities (the bigger it gets the more difficult to maintain). That’s public domain. It’s been years of fight, but that’s other story.

For some years the king browsers have had names like SF, CR and OR. These browsers are in good standing or, to word it differently, they are well considered; still. They may look like AX before: unsinkable. But see where AX is now. No one can tell what will happen in the future.

This year EME entered the scene and looks like it’s going forward. By december 2014 it will be into HTML5 standard. I know W3C standards are mostly recommendations. No one is forced to implement it. But given the situation, some of browsers above mentioned might have EME implemented even before december 2014. People like me (that are against EME or even conscious of EME existence and meaning) are scarce and powerless in front of the big companies involved. But we are (I am and others too) good analysers. We have critic minds and we can reverse the reality or (in this case) we’re able to foresee the future to some extent.

And what is going to happen? It’s not that difficult to guess, I think:

The ever growing free software community will react to EME in a way or other. And there is where the major schism of web history will arise. Some will decide to rip HTML5 standard. Some will just forget about the standard and will rip their chosen HTML render engine to develop their own “not EME” browsers. A plethora of browsers and schismatic new html standards will flourish. Users will learn sooner or later that EME is against their interests and they’ll start to migrate to more ethical browsers. CR, SF and OR will follow AX destiny. For some time, they’ll be marginally used… until they come to an end as abandonware (if they’re lucky enough).

Current HTML WG charter is calling people to work and cooperate against users interests. It is clear that the CDM, with the pretext of copy protection, can be used for user surveillace among other things. No one company nor central authority (not even governments) can be trusted to have that power. So I invite experts who may think alike to leave the group and join the FreedomHTML project, in an attempt to make the schism to come the less chaotic as posible for the users.

Thanks for reading and best regards,

Julio Serrano

P.S.: Other event to come, that I have omitted on purpose until now, is the hack that will render EME obsolete. Which will automatically kick EME 2.0 out of the standard. (Will EME endorsement companies be willing to wait until the slow standardization process reaches again to a new version?)

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