Joined: May 2011
I highly recommend that Team-Kodi developers and Kodi users alike read this blog-post by the W3C Director about EME (Encrypted Media Extensions) which is W3C's endorsed DRM system:
I think most things mentioned in that blog-post Sir Tim Berners-Lee very much matches this issue and many Kodi verses DRM questions that developers and end-users might have.
He explains in a non-technical manor why W3C recommends sandboxed EME (Encrypted Media Extensions) over any other DRM system as the standard for streaming encrypted video content.
He goes on to argue why W3C should continue to recommend EME (Encrypted Media Extensions) as the preferred standard in order to discourage fragmentation with proprietary DRM systems.
It's a long post and worth reading the whole thing, thought that I repost just a 'short' quote from that blog-post here which I find a particular good match to these Kodi vs DRM questions:
Given DRM is a thing,…
When a company decides to distribute content they want to protect, they have many choices. This is important to remember.
If the Director Of The Consortium made a Decree that there would be No More DRM in fact nothing would change. Because W3C does not have any power to forbid anything. W3C is not the US Congress, or WIPO, or a court. It would perhaps have shortened the debate. But we would have been distracted from important things which need thought and action on other issues.
Well, could W3C make a stand and just because DRM is a bad thing for users, could just refuse to work on DRM and push back wherever they could on it? Well, that would again not have any effect, because the W3C is not a court or an enforcement agency. W3C is a place for people to talk, and forge consensus over great new technology for the web. Yes, there is an argument made that in any case, W3C should just stand up against DRM, but we, like Canute, understand our power is limited.
But importantly, there are reasons why pushing people away from web is a bad idea: It is better for users for the DRM to be done through EME than other ways.
- When the content is in a web page, it is part of the web.
- The EME system can ‘sandbox’ the DRM code to limit the damage it can do to the user’s system
- The EME system can ‘sandbox’ the DRM code to limit the damage it can do to the user’s privacy.
As mentioned above, when a provider distributes a movie, they have a lot of options. They have different advantages and disadvantages. An important issue here is how much the publisher gets to learn about the user.
- If they sell a DVD or Blu-ray disk, they never get to know whether the user watches it. From the user’s point of view they can watch each bit of it as many times as they like without the feeling they are being watched.
- If they put it on the web using EME, they will get to record that the user unlocked the movie. The browser though, in the EME system, can limit the amount of access the DRM code has, and can prevent it “phoning home” with more details. (The web page may also monitor and report on the user, but that can be detected and monitored as that code is not part of the “DRM blob”)
- If they put it on an app in a closed system like an iPhone, then they get to make whatever DRM they like. They also get to watch exactly how and where the user watches which bits of the movie. If they can persuade the user to allow them other access, such to the user’s calendar, they can completely profile the user, and correlate this with their movie-watching habits.
- If they distribute it using an app on an open system like Android or Mac OS X, then they can get the same feedback as on an iPhone app. However as the OS is not a locked-down system, the app may be able to further abuse the user, by possibly exfiltrating further information, and also like, in the Sony Rootkit case, installing spyware on the system.
- If they distribute it with their own closed system, like a game console or a set-top box, then the user is protected from spying on their computer. The publisher has complete control of information which is sent back about the user’s play and pause, and so on. The user has no way though to have this as part of their connected web life. There are no links in or out.
So in summary, it is important to support EME as providing a relatively safe online environment in which to watch a movie, as well as the most convenient, and one which makes it a part of the interconnected discourse of humanity.
I should mention that the extent to which the sandboxing of the DRM code protects the user is not defined by the EME spec at all, although current implementations in at least Firefox and Chrome do sandbox the DRM.
(This post was last modified: 2017-04-27 16:22 by RockerC.)