While it seems to be uncertain at the moment if it’ll become a standard – here’s hoping not – the possibility of adding DRM to HTML is being talked about as a very real possibility in the near future.
Known as the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal, the project is already receiving backing from big organisations like Microsoft, Netflix, Google and according to Wired, “dozens,” of other media firms. While it doesn’t essentially bring DRM to HTML, it does make it possible for integrating it and there lies the worry for many.
Of course we also know from dealing with always-on systems, serial keys, limited installs and a variety of other irritating methods to prevent us from pirating content, that DRM doesn’t stop the pirates, it just irritates those that choose to legitimately buy the product. Gamers already know what a pain DRM can be, but they aren’t the only ones that won’t want such a closed system incorporated into the wonderfully open HTML. Ian Hickson, ex editor of the W3C HTML specifications, has called it “unethical.”
It’s also warned that the proposed system could allow for the growth and implementation of DRM plugins, thereby making it impossible for all to view the same content, as some would be allowed, while others would not – massively undermining the open nature of the web as we know it.
Kitguru Says: Gotta say, the question in my mind is, “why?” What purpose does DRM serve on the web? We already have plenty of clever login systems for limiting certain people to specific parts of the internet, why would we need a whole proprietary system to restrict people from what they legally don’t have access too? On top of all this, DRM doesn’t work, so what’s the point?