DRM and HTML5
The web has gone a long way since its inception and its future is now being decided by major stakeholders including the active users. But as in any decision-making process, there are conflicting opinions and objections to what’s being proposed.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the body that will decide on the web’s future. However, it does not decide solely on its own. The body’s decision will also be based on the proposals of groups that are part of the consortium. Currently, the W3C Advisory Committee is made up of 377 representatives coming from various organizations (companies, universities and non-profit groups) belonging to different industries.
The main issue being debated on is the inclusion of the digital rights management (DRM) into HTML 5. While there are groups that go for the DRM inclusion, there are also groups that are against this move.
What is DRM?
Digital rights management (DRM) refers to the method of controlling access to copyrighted material in digital formats. In short, the control on the usage of a digital content is taken away from people and put in the hands of a computer program. This type of control is considered by many users as very restrictive hence, the objection to DRM in HTML 5.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that is strongly objecting the DRM inclusion, such technology will only control what people can and can’t do with the media and hardware they have purchased. The organization calls for the retention of an open web source instead. On its website, EFF cited several examples of how DRM can control. These include not being able to read an ebook bought from Amazon on one’s preferred ebook reader, not being able to copy the video from a DVD or Blu-Ray on a portable media player, not being able to play a video game at a time the user prefers as the authentication servers are offline.
What Member Groups Can Do
Employees of organizations belonging to the W3C can take part in deciding on the fate of this move to include DRM in HTML 5. Web experts are calling on people to help build a consensus and submit proposals if necessary.
In their your own organization, workers can also start a discussion with the management regarding this important matter. Individuals can also contribute by simply posting their technical comments on the web, in any avenue or website they prefer that actively discusses this issue.
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