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Will Google Oppose DRM On HTML5 Video? 399

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-aint-for-it-we're-agin-it dept.
An anonymous reader let us know that "Mozilla has committed to not implement DRM in Firefox for WebM HTML5 video even though it is theoretically possible. Microsoft has asked Google and the WebM community several other questions that still have not been answered, but this one seems more important: will Google commit to keeping WebM in Chrome DRM-free? Does our community think that is important for the open web and free software?"
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Will Google Oppose DRM On HTML5 Video?

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  • by leuk_he (194174) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:34PM (#35260806) Homepage Journal

    Direct Rendering manager belongs in the kernel, not in a user process ;) ;) ;)

  • H.264 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:38PM (#35260840) Homepage Journal

    Why are we leaving the decision up to Chrome? iOS devices are a giant chunk of the mobile market and play H.264 fine, and so do Android devices and Palm's WebOS. I'm not sure about Blackberry, but it's odd that Windows Mobile doesn't support H.264 given Microsoft's support of it. Also sites like YouTube's Mobile site are using H.264.

    In light of all this, why is WebM such a big deal? Are there any vendors (aside from Google) that have products out using it (or using only it)?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Man, do you people think or do any research at all? Or do you just like trolling?

      Mozilla Firefox (~30% of the browser market share) will never have support for H.264. Never.
      Chrome (~11% of browser market share) no longer supports H.264.

      H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

      That's why WebM is a big deal.

      • by isorox (205688)

        Man, do you people think or do any research at all? Or do you just like trolling?

        Mozilla Firefox (~30% of the browser market share) will never have support for H.264. Never.
        Chrome (~11% of browser market share) no longer supports H.264.

        H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

        That's why WebM is a big deal.

        Back in the days when browsers were starting to embed images, were gif and jpeg royalty free? Or did we just live in a simpler time before patent trolls.

        In any case, both Chrome and Firefox on windows support h264 thanks to Microsoft's meddling, I fear that h264 will be the standard. Still, not exactly worse than flash-with-h264.

        • Back in the days when browsers were starting to embed images, were gif and jpeg royalty free? Or did we just live in a simpler time before patent trolls.

          GIF required royalties to write, but not to read. Hence the existence of libungif: "a specially modified version of giflib which is free of the Unisys LZW patent. It can read all GIFs, but only write uncompressed GIFs."

      • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @03:27PM (#35261238)

        >>>H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

        Statement of fact made.
        Too bad its untrue. There's no requirement that HTML5 codecs have to be royalty free. (At least not that I'm aware.)

        As for H.264 it's already in use in billions of device from things as small as iPods, to home Televisions, to giant Movie and TV studios. It has become the defacto standard just like VHS, DVD, and Bluray.

      • Re:H.264 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by node 3 (115640) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @03:49PM (#35261354)

        H.264 cannot be the standard for HTML5 video because it is not royalty-free.

        That is not a true statement.

    • because it's royalty-free for implementations of VP8 algorithms when those algorithms are free software implementations. this is HIGHLY significant when it comes to cost-sensitive products. even the MPEG LA group has recognised the importance of automatic royalty-free patent grants, in their call for contributions to the upcoming MPEG-2 algorithm. you should read slashdot, you know ;) or did you miss these stories last week, or did you not understand the significance?

    • by westlake (615356)

      In light of all this, why is WebM such a big deal? Are there any vendors (aside from Google) that have products out using it (or using only it)?

      Google Shopping returns 80,000 hits for H.264.

      30,000 or so for H.264 CCTV applications like video security.

      102 hits for WebM -
      of which maybe ten are relevant, all software transcoders, no hardware of any kind.

      Do you own a digital HDTV set, a set-top box for DirecTV or the Dish Network? Freeview in the UK? Then you own a licensed H.264 decoder.

      The geek is so obsessed with the web that he forgets that there are other markets, very big markets, very rich markets, for data compressed digital video.

      The H.264 l

    • Because implementing a web standard shouldn't require payment and carry restrictions.

      Choosing a standard doesn't preclude the use of other codecs. However, we need a format we can depend on being available regardless of browser or OS or whether somebody has "payed up". And so what if Google does pay to include h.264 in Chrome? There are many other browsers, most without the financial backing to purchase a codec license for every user.

      People talk about h.264 like it's the be-all end-all of video codecs,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:38PM (#35260850)

    Funny, I thought DRM was theoretically impossible. Something to do with Bob and Eve being the same person.

    • It's theoretically possible to implement DRM with WebM. It's not theoretically possible to implement effective DRM, however.
      • by node 3 (115640)

        It's theoretically possible to implement DRM with WebM. It's not theoretically possible to implement effective DRM, however.

        If that were true, that would imply that DRM is nothing to worry about.

        For DRM to be effective, it doesn't have to be unbreakable, it just has to stop some notable amount of copying (or other non-authorized usage it's meant to prevent).

        Sony's PS3 DRM, for example, has been completely effective for almost half a decade. Now it is still effective, just not as much.

    • Optimistic; but not quite true. Eve is Eve. Bob is Eve's computer.

      It is impossible to build fully effective DRM. With enough skill, money, and equipment, Eve could go in and rework at the IC level, or even do a complete teardown and build a replica-but-without-the-DRM equivalent. If there aren't serious implementation mistakes to work with, though, "enough skill, money, and equipment" is an enormous amount... In practice, it is really only the legacy of the pre-cheap-cryptography general purpose computer
  • DRM can be effectively and easily implemented by XORing a Copyright Notice on top of the data. it's as good a measure as any, costs virtually nothing in terms of performance, does not interfere with distribution mechanisms (IP Multicast for example), can be "claimed" to be "encryption" under the DMCA, and makes it bluntly, bluntly clear that anyone dumb enough to remove it and spread the resultant file around the internet is DEFINITELY violating Copyright.

    even as a free software developer (apart from the s

    • Actual working DRM serves to somewhat slow down release groups operating in countries that lack a counterpart to the U.S. DMCA.
    • DRM can be effectively and easily implemented by XORing a Copyright Notice on top of the data. it's as good a measure as any, costs virtually nothing in terms of performance, does not interfere with distribution mechanisms (IP Multicast for example), can be "claimed" to be "encryption" under the DMCA...

      Not likely. Technical measures must be effective in order to qualify.

      ...and makes it bluntly, bluntly clear that anyone dumb enough to remove it and spread the resultant file around the internet is DEFINIT

      • by cgenman (325138)

        The intent of DRM is to meet legal minimums of protection to get shutdown notices for people who host tools that simplify the pirating of your content. Even DRM companies count the amount of time that it will slow down complete digital reproductions by days, not weeks. Even then some things (like DVD's) frequently hit before the actual release.

    • DRM can be effectively and easily implemented by XORing a Copyright Notice on top of the data. it's as good a measure as any, costs virtually nothing in terms of performance, does not interfere with distribution mechanisms (IP Multicast for example), can be "claimed" to be "encryption" under the DMCA, and makes it bluntly, bluntly clear that anyone dumb enough to remove it and spread the resultant file around the internet is DEFINITELY violating Copyright.

      That's not quite DRM yet. A player would obviously remove the XORing for playing, and if I make an illegal copy from your computer to mine, then my player would remove the XORing exactly the same as yours. There would actually be nothing that prevents access to the encrypted data.

      What would be DRM: The user has to type a "User ID" and a password into the media player. The media player downloads the media, xors with copyright notice, user id, and password. It also writes copyright notice, user id, and pas

    • I hate DRM on purchased music/video downloads. But for streaming services it is absolutely necessary, and not to keep dedicated pirates from stealing content. For streaming services such as netflix it keeps honest users honest. Netflix allows 5 devices per account and you can only stream when you are paying the subscription fee. If there was no DRM, then there would be easily available programs that would let you download movies to your computer to be watched after canceling. And remove the 5 devices per ac

      • by Homburg (213427) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @05:17PM (#35261934) Homepage

        I'm not sure about Netflix, but the DRM that Hulu and BBC's iPlayer use, RTMPE, was broken a long time ago. However, while it's possible to find programs for saving the streams from these services, but there don't seem to be widely distributed, user friendly programs to do so. I don't see why the situation would necessarily be any different if there were no DRM at all. People seem sufficiently happy with the service Hulu and iPlayer provide that they're not going to the trouble of downloading software to get round the services terms and conditions.

  • DRM is Necessary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RoFLKOPTr (1294290)

    Flash will continue to persist on a large scale until such a time that HTML video is standardized and has acceptable DRM written into the standard. Until that happens, publishers simply aren't going to stop using Flash. Mozilla is shooting themselves in the foot, and Google will be doing so as well if they make the same decision.

    DRM isn't evil, people. Publishers WANT you to be able to view their content, or they wouldn't be putting it online. They wouldn't implement some DRM scheme that would ruin your abi

    • Let me clarify my stance before I'm modded into the ground -1 Fascist. I hate DRM. I hate it when it's on things that I purchase and download for my own use. But I do recognize that it has become an evil that will never leave us, and so I always try to reward those who come up with creative ways to implement it such that it does not impede my ability to use what I legally own, and perhaps even adds functionality (Valve's Steam comes to mind). However, for videos that are only present online and I only plan

      • by dagamer34 (1012833) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:56PM (#35260998)
        What about DRM on things you don't purchase but stream, like Netflix and Hulu? Since you don't own it, you shouldn't be able to download it, and DRM is necessary to protect those companies interest. Again, with content you OWN, DRM = evil because it limits rights. But with streaming content, it gives just enough rights so that in theory, prices should be cheaper (Apple TV rental being cheaper than purchase, despite it being the same bits sent to you).
        • What about DRM on things you don't purchase but stream, like Netflix and Hulu? Since you don't own it, you shouldn't be able to download it, and DRM is necessary to protect those companies interest. Again, with content you OWN, DRM = evil because it limits rights. But with streaming content, it gives just enough rights so that in theory, prices should be cheaper (Apple TV rental being cheaper than purchase, despite it being the same bits sent to you).

          That's pretty much exactly what I said.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          DRM only on streaming would be practically pointless if the same product is for sale without DRM. Why would you trust people to not share their purchased content with a million of their closest friends as prohibited by copyright law, yet not trust them to follow the streaming agreement?

          There doesn't have to be a download button in the streaming application, but if you're willing to use a network/memory/display sniffer/download tool to get it in violation of your subscription agreement you're probably also w

      • by R-66Y (150658)

        In many cases, CTOs for production companies understand and agree on the futility of DRM. Contracts with the actors and the production crew, however, are what require that the distribution be controlled in some manner. Specifically, things like royalties for distribution become difficult to calculate when there is no DRM involved.

        The technical folks in the industry -- even the ones who make the decisions -- don't particularly want DRM but are often contractually bound to deliver it. Perhaps years down the l

    • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slash d o t . f i renzee.com> on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:51PM (#35260942) Homepage

      There is no way to have standardized DRM... The whole idea of DRM relies entirely on security through obscurity, and if you publish a standard then that obscurity is gone.
      Even with an obscured scheme, if it's worth it to anyone (ie there aren't easier ways to get the same content) then someone will reverse engineer the format and work out how to extract the data from it in a usable way. This will _ALWAYS_ be possible, because the player itself has to get the data into a usable format itself in order to display it.

      All DRM does is inconvenience legitimate users, pirates will just download media that is not drm encumbered and have a better user experience.

      • All DRM does is inconvenience legitimate users, pirates will just download media that is not drm encumbered and have a better user experience.

        As long as DRM is effective enough to keep the "pirates" in the minority it will be worthwhile. If it serves to keep the average teenager from making copies for her friends it's working. The purpose of the DMCA anti-circumvention provision is to prevent the commercial distribution of circumvention technology. While the publishers would rather you weren't able to

      • DRM is ONLY a factor for your LEGITIMATE customers.

        And, eventually, that DRM will be out-dated and your LEGITIMATE customers will no longer have access to material that they LEGITIMATELY paid for.

        I have CD's that I purchased 20+ years ago that still work.

        How many of you can play content from a DRM limited product from 10 years ago?

        • by node 3 (115640)

          How many of you can play content from a DRM limited product from 10 years ago?

          Um, everyone with a DVD player? And video game console owners.

          In 10 years, you will still be able to play DRM content from iTunes. And I don't expect Steam to go away either.

          Other than Apple and Valve, I can't really think of any major companies that offer online DRM purchases which I would put sufficient confidence in supporting their DRM for years to come.

        • by tepples (727027)

          How many of you can play content from a DRM limited product from 10 years ago?

          A lot of NES consoles made before 1990 still work today.

      • Well if we fully implemented a treacherous computing stack then you should be able to have a standard (hell, even open source) DRM schema that would be resistant to most attacks. Sure holes would be found and such, but it would still be reasonably effective.

    • Re:DRM is Necessary (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:51PM (#35260946) Homepage

      1) Blu-Ray players will soon shut off people from using component video to play 1080p content, downscaling to 540p. I'd call that "ruining your ability to watch it".
      2) Many DRM schemes backfire and give users a lot of trouble (see StarForce for a good example).
      3) YouTube videos can be quite easily scraped off the site and downloaded, so Flash doesn't implement a whole lot of DRM either.

      There's no need to push HTML video adoption. With the craze over the iStuff and Jobs' anti-Adobe stand, it will naturally become popular with video content producers on the basis of being able to tap into the iPad, iPhone and iPod market.

      Furthermore, Mozilla's already said it many times. They're not in it to get the biggest marketshare ever, they're there to push the open web and open source movements. They want standards, they want open content. Their existence single-handedly overturned IE's once seemingly invulnerable dominance, hence they've already somewhat accomplished their mission. I regard Mozilla as a watchdog that tries to keep the web in line with the open source community's values. They produce a browser because it is the best way to achieve their goals, but I don't see them turning their backs on any of their core values on the grounds of gaining marketshare.

      • They produce a browser because it is the best way to achieve their goals, but I don't see them turning their backs on any of their core values on the grounds of gaining marketshare.

        I'm not talking about gaining marketshare. I'm talking about encouraging adoption of the technologies they have worked so hard to design. There will be no adoption if there's no way to control the content. Plain and simple.

      • by node 3 (115640)

        Their existence single-handedly overturned IE's once seemingly invulnerable dominance, hence they've already somewhat accomplished their mission.

        "Overturned"? IE is not longer "seemingly invulnerable", but it's still the dominant browser. And WebKit is more widely used than Gecko. Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox was the first to put a notable dent in IE's market share, and is now a major player in the browser realm, but that's about it.

        Mozilla is much smaller than the web. They need to realize this if they wish to remain relevant. Enough normal people were fed up with IE's poor quality, poor security, and lack of features, to make Firefox successful. There

    • DRM doesn't work (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lkcl (517947)

      i keep having to point this out to people, time and time again: broadcasting and DRM are mutually exclusively incompatible. Free Software people recognise this, and anyone who fails to recognise it is just plain dumb. or is being paid to pretend to be dumb. let's do a simple maths demo. go get your calculator, and hit the following buttons: type in 1, then hit "-". then type 1000, then hit 1/x, then hit equals. then hit "power (x/y)" and then 1000 again. press equals, and you should have 0.36769 or t

      • by node 3 (115640)

        i keep having to point this out to people, time and time again: broadcasting and DRM are mutually exclusively incompatible.

        That's a nice theory, but it's completely contradicted by reality.

        Free Software people recognise this,

        Which brings into question their overall judgement.

        and anyone who fails to recognise it is just plain dumb.

        Dumb for accepting reality over theory?

    • How does Flash benefit DRM and it's proponents? I mean - I'm not even a videophile, or an audiophile, but I routinely browse the web, save Flash media to disk, convert it to another format, then upload it, burn it to CD, or email to to freinds. No big deal. It's just a simple matter of knowing where to find a few libraries. So - I ask again: How does DRM benefit from Flash?
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @03:04PM (#35261068) Journal
      DRM is, in fact, evil(even if you don't think that its objectives are.)

      DRM is, inevitably, simply cannot be done any other way, a class of methods and mechanisms whereby my computer is placed under a 3rd party's partial control in order to make it obey their interests, rather than mine. Even if I happen to agree with the particular rule being thus enforced(which is hardly assured, most DRM users go beyond the rights copyright law allows), it is the change in the ultimate controller of the system that is the inevitable and unacceptable consequence...

      The fact that any system sufficiently robust to allow for effective DRM also allows for effective censorship is just icing on the cake...
    • by russotto (537200)

      DRM isn't evil, people.

      DRM may not be evil per se, but it sure is associated with a lot of evil. DMCA 1201, region coding, non-skippable commercials on DVDs, Sony rootkits, proposals to ban ADCs, etc. Its few non-evil _uses_ (e.g. enforcing a rental model) are IMO not enough to redeem it.

      They are NOT, however, going to publish it without some sort of control mechanism.

      Then they can not publish it.

  • // ok, not that funny, but what can I say? I'm a karma-whore-wannabee.

  • Hmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dagamer34 (1012833)
    So Mozilla wants everyone to switch to WebM, but also thinks that a company like Hulu would be happy if people were able to download it's content by looking at the source code and seeing ??? Really? Come on now. There's standing up for a "free" internet and then also making sure that people can't easily steal web video content with a simple click. NO business in their right mind would agree to something like that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      >>>NO business in their right mind would agree

      I've read plenty of stories about artists and businesses that DO give away their content for free. i.e. Not copy-protected. They discovered that doing so earned them MORE money, not less, in the form of more sales.

      This is kinda similar to how lowering taxes can actually create More government revenue in the long term. It's counter-intuitive but study-after-study has shown that giving stuff away creates awareness, and that awareness creates sales.

    • by Halo1 (136547)

      There's standing up for a "free" internet and then also making sure that people can't easily steal web video content with a simple click. NO business in their right mind would agree to something like that.

      Several businesses in related fields already do, and do fine. All my paid for ebooks are from http://www.webscription.net/ [webscription.net] which does not employ any kind of DRM. I've bought a ton of games from http://www.gog.com/ [gog.com] which are all without any DRM (I've also bought some games with online activation, but no Steam because even the one free game I have from them insists on half-updating itself from time to time and then refusing to run until it can finish its online verification process).

      While it's certainly possi

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:45PM (#35260902) Journal

    I spent a long time opposed to DRM because of the lock in effect. Except that reality has pretty much rendered DRM as obsolete.

    DRM does not and has not protected video game publishers.

    DRM does not and has not prevented every significant song, movie, or other work from being easily, readily, and widely available on torrents.

    DRM does not and has not generally resulted in an improved customer experience.

    In a very real sense, it is frequently easier to use the pirate version of a game than the normal one. I love the GTA series on PC, and every single game I ever purchased I almost immediately installed the No-CD cracks. Yes, that's right. I bought all the games of GTA I ever played, and I cracked all of them just so I didn't have to dicker with the stupid DRM.

    So, other than annoy the end users, what purpose does DRM serve?

    • DRM does not and has not protected video game publishers.

      Yes it does. The digital restrictions management on video game consoles protects established video game publishers from competition from smaller indie developers. Console makers have a history of not granting licenses to micro-ISVs, and "homebrew" software relies on fragile jailbreaks that the console maker can and does fix with an update to the console's firmware.

    • Door locks don't keep burglars or determined attackers out, either. So, what purpose do they serve?

      They make it hard to *casually* invade a room or building. They make it so there's at least a small hassle involved.

      I think it's more or less true that carrots probably work better than sticks -- it's probably better to combat piracy with affordable prices, convenient availability, and a feelgood sense of legitimacy. But I can kindof understand why some content purveyors would also want to do something to stop

    • by woboyle (1044168)
      Well put. As Richard Stahlman says, DRM == Digital Restrictions Management, NOT Digital Rights Management. When you purchase a personal item like a book, game, movie, music, etc, you naturally expect to be able to use it as, when, and where you wish, and to resell it if you want. DRM only RESTRICTS your choice, so in effect you have not purchased the item, but merely rented it. If one were to apply rigorously the Right of First Sale to these items, DRM would itself be illegal, in my non-lawyerly opinion.
  • For DRM to work(to the degree that it ever does) it has to be implemented in something that the user cannot successfully modify to be less user hostile.

    Hardware, because it is comparatively difficult and expensive to modify, generally poses the greatest obstacles to the user.

    Closed source software, if sufficiently crafty, can be comparatively difficult(but much cheaper, so it usually falls faster).

    OSS, by design, is modifiable, so it would last mere minutes. Is it nice that Mozilla won't do DRM? Su
    • by tepples (727027)

      However, nothing short of the wholesale annihilation of the general-purpose computer and its replacement by a dystopian mass of tivoized appliances and TPM-backed "secure remote attestation" mechanisms

      In the case of video games, this dystopian mass has been growing since the 1985 introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

    • Re:Ummm? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @03:07PM (#35261098) Homepage Journal
      Go ahead, hide the download button. I have VLC plugin, and I'll just tell VLC to pipe everything it plays to files on the hard drive. No problemo. Whoops, sorry - you already knew that, but the DRM dummies didn't. I should learn to keep my mouth shut, huh?
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 20, 2011 @02:48PM (#35260918)

    Right now the BBC serves H.264 streams via flash and it has pretty lousy performance (Flash) or pretty awesome performance (via the same stream in XBMC). If they want to shed Flash entirely and still serve a large proportion of the web then a limited amount of content protection is almost inevitable because the content producers (ie, not the BBC but the people who own some of the shows they broadcast) demand it.

    Sure, ideally there would be no content protection at all (it really doesn't affect the free distribution of the content at all) but right now that is just not a reality.

    I would love BBC iPlayer to be able to serve H.264 with HTML5 (it already does to iPhone user agent strings) since it would free me from the flash performance hog that makes HD streams stutter even on a powerful desktop machine. It won't happen if a sizeable portion of the browser market won't support it.

    I'm only talking about iPlayer here, but it applies to many video services across the web - trying to force the DRM hand too early will just perpetuate Flash.

  • If web video is going to get DRM, the "client" will have to be implemented by a trusted party.

    Google can play the role, but I don't think Mozilla can.
    So if DRM is going to be implement it will need support from the OS - where the OS plays gatekeeper, and browsers relying on it for decoding.**

    I don't see a problem to be honest with DRM for web video, it would be up to the content creators whether they want their video protected by DRM.
    Those who don't want DRM can just post without it.

    **Ya, I know, problem fo

    • The OS plays gatekeeper? Oh - you're talking about Microsoft. It's going to be their job to ensure that I see nothing that I haven't paid for. Cool, I can go for that. Sounds great. Except - Microsoft can't even effectively protect their own software from being pirated routinely. So - good luck with that, let me know how it works out! Meanwhile, people like myself will continue to use out unix-like systems to do whatever we damned well please. Oh - maybe I won't be able to view the latest and greate
  • Once Google states no DRM in WebM, Microsoft will win the battle and get hollywood on their side by offering DRM in whatever they cook up. That's the only reason they're asking this question. Without DRM there is no Netflix in HTLM 5 and for that matter any number of video options that may exist because the xxIA's require it.

  • ... so whether or not it has DRM is unimportant.

  • Which current web standards require a license fee to implement?
    Which of the two video formats would require a license fee to implement?
    Which would be better suited for the web?

    Besides, why would MS have a say in interoperable web video formats when their next browser won't even work on a large portion of their users' systems? They have demonstrated being incapable of making even their own product interoperable with their other products.
    Microsoft's usage share is dropping every month and with far superior c

  • by pyalot (1197273) on Sunday February 20, 2011 @04:11PM (#35261478)
    A video decoder needs the raw video bytes in order to update a frame buffer for display on the graphics card. Therefore somewhere between receiving an encrypted stream of bytes and processing a raw stream of video bytes, the decryption needs to happen.

    In classical cryptography the objective is to protect a message that Alice sends to Bob from a man in the middle. However, with DRM, there is no man in the middle. To address this conundrum, a secure channel of communication between the provider and the consumer of a stream is setup such that the private key of the consumer is assembled from some unique hardware parameters. If the user knew the private key, then the secure channel would be broken.

    Hence the objective in DRM becomes an absurd exercise in obscuring the client private key. The entire "security" of the DRM process relies centrally on obscurity. The "obscure" part is exactly how the private client key is built and what methods and protocols of encryption are used.

    With open-source however, no protocol will be obscure and no method to assembly a client key will be obscure. Therefore it is impossible to implement DRM in open source, because the whole premise of DRM relies on implementation obscurity, and the whole premise of open-source relies in implementation transparency.

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore

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