THE WORLD WIDE WEB CONSORTIUM (W3C) has released a first public working draft of its HTML Encrypted Media Extension (EME) standard amid ongoing controversy over embedding digital restrictions management (DRM) into HTML.
The W3C oversees the development of HTML, the programming language used to generate websites. The consortium issued its first public working draft of EME, which free software campaigners note specifies DRM. W3C chief executive Jeffrey Jaffe justified the need for EME by saying that it will allow users to access "premium content" on the web rather than through locked down devices.
W3C's EME proposal will also allow websites access to encrypted content without the need for plugins or third party applications. The Free Software Foundation has been vocal in its objections to EME through its Defective by Design campaign and said it is "deeply disappointed" at Jaffe's comments regarding the need for EME as part of HTML.
John Sullivan, the executive director of the Free Software Foundation said, "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."
Sullivan continued by saying that if companies want to implement DRM in their systems they should "do it on their own time and their own dime".
Jaffe acknowledged the critics of EME and said the W3C would "weigh a variety of complex considerations to determine the right balance for the Open Web Platform".
Given the Free Software Foundation's vocal opposition expressed in a 26,000 strong petition, it looks like the W3C will have to consider a lot more criticism opposing the adoption of EME in the HTML standard. µ
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