In an unfortunate move W3C has announced that the created of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has agreed to accept EME as a W3C standard.
Initially Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) was pushed by Hollywood to restrict download of their works when streamed over the web.
However, once such a system is in place it’s application can go beyond multi-media streaming. There are many players who want to use this technology to restrict access to their own content.
Once it becomes a standard Microsoft and Google will rush to implement it in their browser as they race to get more content for their users. These companies are not going to challenge the system and take side of their users.
Only bodies like EFF and free software can challenge this lock-out. Free software browsers can choose to ignore the W3C standards and keep those schacles at the bay, but then their users won’t be able to access such content.
O’ Brien said, “EFF is still a W3C member, and we’ll do our best to work with other organizations within and without the consortium to help it fight off the worse consequences of accepting DRM. But it’s not easy to defend a king who has already invited its attackers across his moat.”
DRM is always a lose-lose situation for users.