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Community & Business Groups

Restricted Media Community Group

The Restricted Media CG will discuss and analyze methods of restricting access to or use of Web media, and their implementation on the open Web. This group will not publish specifications.

Group's public email, repo and wiki activity over time

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Harry Halpin: “DRM and HTML5: it’s now or never for the Open Web”

“A meeting next Monday of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will consider whether digital rights management should be part of the HTML5 web standard. But what’s your opinion?

“The future of the Web is being decided at this very moment. While I’m speaking personally rather than for the W3C, the decisions made today by the W3C will build the Web of tomorrow, so these decisions will affect you.”

EFF Makes Formal Objection to DRM in HTML5

“San Francisco – Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a formal objection to the inclusion of digital rights management (DRM) in HTML5, arguing that a draft proposal from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) could stymie Web innovation and block access to content for people across the globe. …

“EFF filed this objection as its first act as a full member of W3C. EFF’s goal is to broaden the discussion of the consequences of accepting DRM-based proposals like EME for the future of the Web.”

World Wide Web Consortium takes next step with controversial DRM proposal, Defective by Design condemns decision

Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan made the following statement:

“We and the 26,000 concerned individuals who signed Defective by Design’s petition so far are extremely disappointed in the W3C’s statement today. The situation is actually worse than we thought, because the W3C now appears to be bizarrely insisting that Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) is a necessary component of a free Web. We were under the impression that the standardized Web was meant to be a structure that mitigated against holders of particular proprietary technologies bullying Web users and developers, or extracting royalties from them as preconditions for participation. If companies want to do such bullying, they can do it on their own time and their own dime; the W3C should not help them or endorse them. In this statement, the W3C unfortunately hitches its wagon to the contentious and frankly irrelevant empirical claim that DRM is key to what Microsoft during the Vista launch referred to as a ‘next generation content experience.’ In adopting the doublespeak of the Hollyweb, the W3C is betraying the interests Web users have in experiencing the amazing universe of human culture enabled by the Internet. Instead, they are backing the desire of Netflix, Google, and Microsoft, to capture those users in media silos with walls enforced by proprietary software and criminal law like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (and similar laws around the world). Despite the W3C’s claim to have listened, we do not feel heard. We will step up our efforts to stop them from committing this terrible error, including issuing a comprehensive refutation of this statement’s reasoning.”

“International coalition of Internet freedom organizations urges W3C to reject Encrypted Media Extensions, a proposal to build Digital Restrictions Management into the Web”

“Today a coalition of twenty-seven organizations released a joint letter to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Web’s standards-setting body, condemning Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). EME is a proposal to incorporate support for Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) — the systems used by media and technology companies to restrict watching, sharing, recording, and transforming digital works — into HTML, the core language of the Web.”

FSF: “Tell W3C: We don’t want the Hollyweb”

“We call on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and its member organizations to reject the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal (EME), which would incorporate support for Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into HTML.

EME would be an irreversible step backward for freedom on the Web. It would endorse and enable business models that unethically restrict users, and it would make subjugation to particular media companies a precondition for full Web citizenship. Just as Flash and Silverlight are finally dying off, we should not replace them with the media giants’ latest control fantasy.

Furthermore, EME contradicts the W3C’s core values. It would hamper interoperability by encouraging the proliferation of DRM plugins. It would fly in the face of the W3C’s principle of keeping the Web royalty-free — this is simply a back door for media companies to require proprietary player software. It is willful ignorance to pretend otherwise just because the proposal does not mention particular technologies or DRM schemes by name.

W3C and member organizations: don’t weave DRM into the fabric of the Web.”

EFF: Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards


“All too often, technology companies have raced against each other to build restrictive tangleware that suits Hollywood’s whims, selling out their users in the process. But open Web standads are an antidote to that dynamic, and it would be a terrible mistake for the Web community to leave the door open for Hollywood’s gangrenous anti-technology culture to infect W3C standards. It would undermine the very purposes for which HTML5 exists: to build an open-ecosystem alternatives to all the functionality that is missing in previous web standards, without the problems of device limitations, platform incompatibility, and non-transparency that were created by platforms like Flash. HTML5 was supposed to be better than Flash, and excluding DRM is exactly what would make it better.”

Brightcove Retreats from HTML5

A Brightcove representative says the company is backing away from HTML5 & pushing their SDKs for native iOS & Android apps instead. In the article, the spokesperson cites advantages of native experiences, including that customers can install DRM. What this article seems to say is that lack of DRM is one of the main reasons one of the major video content delivery companies is pursuing proprietary solutions instead of HTML5. (Link:

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: