Thursday, 23 March 2017 13:16

W3C publishes standard for digital rights management

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The World Wide Web Consortium has begun the formal process of ratifying a digital rights management standard for the Internet.

The standard is known as Encrypted Media Extensions and has been developed by engineers from Microsoft, Google and Netflix.

It is aimed at stopping the ripping of video and other content from high-quality streams that are encrypted.

The latest draft of the EME standard was issued on 16 March and sent to W3C members. Whether it is adopted or not depends on how the members vote.

Smaller non-profits pay US$2250 as annual membership fees, while larger corporations pay up to US$77,000. Members have until 13 April to register their opinions.

If the EME is approved, it will set the standard for browsers and video streaming software.

Three formal objections have been raised:

  • inadequate protection for users;
  • difficulties in supporting the specification in free software projects; and
  • lack of a covenant regarding anti-circumvention regulations.

Despite this, the standard is expected to be adopted, with Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee having endorsed it.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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