Microsoft, Netflix, Google Propose Inclusion of DRM in HTML5

By Wednesday, January 30, 2013 0 , , , Permalink 0

DRM has not been successful in preventing piracy and companies which have implemented such features have been negatively impacted in terms of sales and revenue or reduced consumer base. 

As it stands DRM is not a good idea at all and doesn’t help solve the problem of piracy on the web and this is what Manu Sporny, a member of the HTML WG and founder of a startup that built a DRM enabled peer-to-peer, legal content sharing network believes. According to Sporny “TL;DR: The Encrypted Media Extensions” (DRM in HTML5) is not the solution to the problem of “opportunistic or professional piracy.”

The WG member states that the Encrypted Media Extensions specification doesn’t specify any DRM scheme; rather it details architecture for a DRM plug-in. Equating the EME specifications to that of Silverlight and Microsoft’s inability to support its own plug-in across its multiple operating systems, Sprony questions the ability of deploying the DRM plug-in across multiple platforms and believes that this will lead to a plug-in proliferation on the web.

“If Microsoft can’t make their flagship Web plugin work across all major Operating Systems today, what chance does a much smaller DRM plugin company have?” he questions.

Sporny goes into the details of the specifications and highlights some of the things that may eventually lead to failure of the technique. He highlights, from the specification, things like sending decryption keys in plain text, which is essentially a bad idea because it can be captured by any web browser plugin and it doesn’t protect anything and actually adds a complex mechanism of “shipping encrypted byte stream from a web server to the browser.”

The proposal has led to quite an uproar on the web and discussions about the morality and ethics behind DRM have already started.