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    The W3C has never been in a position to block DRM.

    DRM could be blocked by convincing media companies that they don’t need it, by convincing browser vendors to reject it, or by convincing consumers to boycott it. The W3C’s blessing (or lack thereof) is completely irrelevant to all of these parties.

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      W3C has been irrelevant since they abdicated progressing web standards. in useful directions.

      DRM was the absolute last thing we as devs and users needed.

      Vast javascript libraries is NOT what we needed.

      Personally, viewing the web landscape today… I think EFF did the right thing.

      Ignore W3C and find an organization that actually wants to make the web a better place.

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          One issue that complicates this is the W3C’s copyright policy for their specifications: https://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2015/doc-license

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        TBH the whole W3C debate and protest over DRM was a boondoggle.

        The three largest browser makers are all pro-DRM, and Mozilla is mostly funded by pro-DRM companies. W3C approval or not, web DRM was going to be implemented and rolled out. The only question was whether it would be standardized or if each browser would implement their own.

        Like it or not, the internet is just a revenue source these days.

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          If each browser required its own DRM implementation, using DRM would become more expensive and challenging, which is the goal.

          Why are people trying to save the DRM companies money? Standardization isn’t a goal in and of itself. You wouldn’t want to standardize malware APIs (although arguably that’s what W3C is doing) or JS APIs designed to help pop-up ads.

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            If each browser required its own DRM implementation, using DRM would become more expensive and challenging, which is the goal.

            You fundamentally misunderstand the role of standards bodies.

            If the W3C had rejected EME…all of the browsers would have gone ahead and continued to use the EME standard they’d all already agreed upon and implemented. All that would be happening would be that the W3C had stuck its head in the sand and chosen to pretend a standard that existed in practice did not exist, because they didn’t like it.

            Standards bodies exist to help facilitate coordination between the browser vendors. Standards bodies are only useful insofar as they facilitate that coordination. Standards bodies have zero power to force browser vendors to do, or not do, anything. If standards bodies cease to be useful for coordination purposes, they will be ignored and replaced by a new body that the vendors can actually cooperate through.

            There was no universe in which the W3C could force browser vendors to not implement EME, or all do their own thing. The only choice was “acknowledge the existence of EME” or “stick head in sand and become irrelevant”.

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              The browsers didn’t require W3C to approve EME to implement it. They implemented it long before it was approved. A ‘no’ vote would not have made anything more expensive or challenging.

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                If each browser required its own DRM implementation, using DRM would become more expensive and challenging, which is the goal.

                That’s not the goal, and that premise doesn’t hold anyway.

                The expenses around this are pocket change for Microsoft, Google, and Apple, and not having a standard means they SAVE money because they can use their existing DRM. They’d cross license each other’s DRM, and they’d all be compatible.

                The people hurt by not having a standard would be people developing new browsers. They’d have to implement multiple DRM technologies, instead of just one.

                I don’t like DRM, but it’s not going away, so it might as well be dealt with in a sane way.

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                I totally agree. To me, this seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So, the EFF has abdicated its right to advocate for digital privacy rights as part of the W3C?

                I realize that sometimes groups like the EFF need to make a stand, I’m just not sure this is the best way to achieve what they’re looking for, or whether this is the right hill to die on, so to speak.

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                  I don’t think it’s just a revenue source, because non profits use it well. It is built for companies and organizations, because it is a client-server model and running servers takes money, initiative, and persistence.

                  What I am always a bit confused about is: if the internet isn’t good enough, you are necessarily missing (small $) money, initiative, or persistence, but then why is your goal worth anything? Those are all reasonable signals for social usefulness.

                  Thus, distributed/“libre” networks inherently have little value. You’ll know you’re doing something useful when a few other people are willing to help foot the aws bill.

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                    You’ll know you’re doing something useful when a few other people are willing to help foot the aws bill.

                    I respectfully disagree.

                    When I was younger, I enjoyed learning about things on all manner of odd private websites. To this day, when I’m feeling down, reading webcomics (many of which lack advertising!) cheers me up. Flipping through archives of essays and memos hosted by people gratis has taught me much.

                    If I can help give back in that same way by hosting content myself (even silly things like my own blog), then I believe that I have done something useful–quite without consideration for profitability.

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                  There’s a difference between blocking DRM and refusing to support DRM.

                  It’s not a pointless moral play. Refusing to standardize malware APIs makes it more expensive and inconvenient to write malware, even if it’s probably going to happen anyway.

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                  I can’t help but feel their resignation is a mistake.

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                    From my laypersons perspective, their resignation is a public recognition and declaration that the EFF no longer has confidence in the W3C’s ability to operate with the goals and bounds of its original mission.

                    In that, if that is the case, I agree with the sentiment, and the EFF’s protest.

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                      Given how the disagreement has developed so far, it was the only thing for them left to do. Though quite tragical, in its most literal, classical sense, I agree.

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                        What do they achieve by resigning? What will they miss out on? I honestly don’t know enough to judge or feel much about this, but either way it looks like this is a bridge burnt in a demonstration of principles. Perhaps they garner upvotes and support – in principle. Does that give them more than they gained or could have gained from W3C membership in the future?

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                            Quite right–as illustration of this, part of the reason this has succeeded was that Mozilla caved in an effort to preserve marketshare in the face of less ideologically-pure browsers. Their tacit approval of DRM emboldened the others to push it through, and now it can be pointed at in defense of the odious thing.

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                            Well, they only joined W3C to veto EME. The veto didn’t work, so what’s left for them to do?


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                              If you had joined a chess club, and then some way or another it turned out to be a rape club travelling the world raping random people. Should you resign? Or should you stay to ‘correct the course’?

                              I mean, you do gain a lot from the membership of said rape club, namely the opportunity to rape random people.

                              What would you achieve from resigning?

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                                Could you make your point without the references to sexual violence next time? It’s neither necessary to making your point nor kind to those in your audience who might have been on the receiving end of similar, which is two out of the three strikes.

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