now every big browser will have a blackbox DRM checker interfering with music and films

the last standing opposition browser - Firefox - had to concede under the enormous pressure

"It's official: the last holdout for the open web has fallen. Flanked on all sides by Google, Microsoft, Opera, and (it appears) Safari's support and promotion of the EME DRM-in-HTML standard, Mozilla is giving in to pressure from Hollywood, Netflix, et al, and will be implementing its own third-party version of DRM. It will be rolled out in Desktop Firefox later this year. Mozilla's CTO, Andreas Gal, says that Mozilla "has little choice." Mozilla's Chair, Mitchell Baker adds, "Mozilla cannot change the industry on DRM at this point."


At EFF, we disagree. We've had over a decade of watching this ratchet at work, and we know where it can lead. Technologists implement DRM with great reticence, because they can see it's not a meaningful solution to anything but rather a font of endless problems. It doesn't prevent infringement, which continues regardless. Instead, it reduces the security of our devices, reduces user trust, makes finding and reporting of bugs legally risky, eliminates fair use rights, undermines competition, promotes secrecy, and circumvents open standards.


It's clear from the tone of Gal and Baker's comments, and our own discussions with Mozilla, that you'll find no technologist there who is happy with this step. The fact that Mozilla, in opposition to its mission, had to prepare and design this feature in secret without being able to consult the developers and users who make up its community is an indication of how much of a contradiction DRM is in a pro-user open-source browser.


Unchecked, that contradiction is only going to grow. Mozilla's DRM code, imported from Adobe as a closed-source binary, will sit in a cordoned sandbox, simultaneously Mozilla's responsibility but beyond its control. Mozilla will be responsible for updates to the DRM blackbox, which means users will have to navigate browser updates that will either fix security bugs or strip features from their video watching. Mozillians have already been warned of the danger of talking too much about how DRM works (and doesn't work), lest they trigger the provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that forbid "trafficking" in circumvention knowledge.

They have tried to stop P2P but that didn't work - even if they have fined thousands of people, still milloins of people are using it

They have tried to stop the filesharing platforms and they have succeeded in closing down the big pioneers but now a whole bunch of smaller ones are popping up every month (and going)

They have tried to stop torrents and piratebay but even if they have had big successes in courts and brought many sites down or obliged to comply, still millions of people are using it

They have tried to bring streaming sites down and have succeeded with millions of links blocked every year in the searchengines

They have triend to impliment the DMCA infringement mechanism and they are retiring by search or automatically millions of links and files a year but millions of new files appear (even if they disappear faster)

now they are trying to do the following

as most of these things are done through the browser (torrent, filesharing, streaming) they want to control the browser and be sure that a blackbox in the browser would control the material you are trying to see, listen to or do something with

well it will only means that ..... there is an app for that and you won't need a browser

sidenote : having a blackbox in Firefox at which the developers have no access is something in these NSA times that I find really scary

The comments are closed.