EME (Web DRM standard by W3C et. al) Questions? Post them here

Not sure if this is the right category but I find it best fits.

Doing an episode soon (maybe today if I get enough information and questions) on the EME specification, what it means for consumers and web-devs alike. How it benefits or disadvantages either group, as well as what it means for security/privacy from the perspective of consumers and web-devs.

Any questions? Post them down below and I’ll give either a brief answer if warranted and/or heart it to signify that I’ll answer it in the podcast episode :slight_smile:


Is this going to force open source web browsers to implement proprietary blobs to be compliant with the standard?

Do we have any information on how the standard is going to be implemented?


Do you think it will eventually require a specific OS version and/or specific hardware to work? Netflix did something similar for 4K streaming on PC

I can easily see microsoft trying to push for Win10 as a minimum requirement for it and it wouldnt surprise me if major CPU/GPU manufacturers implement some sort of hardware based support as well.


Microsoft already pulled something like this with Office365 Online so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some OS disdain under the guise of “improper implementation” as an excuse.

A lot: https://www.w3.org/TR/encrypted-media/

As for how it’s specifically going to be used, video content is the primary target for this. YouTube, and Netflix is where I can see this being used in terms of the bigger content proponents. The problem is when malicious individuals attempt to use this.

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Adding to @SgtAwesomesauce s’ post
Is this going to render FOSS browsers basically useless in the future?
Sure it’s for ‘media’ for now, but since it’s being baked straight into HTML5… eeeeeeaaayyeah.


This is exactly the type of things that people are worried about. This sets a precedent and creates a slippery slope.

I’m certainly going to go over this topic in the episode. It’s something that I’ve worried about ever since EME was announced. It allows for the encryption of the web in a way that bars consumers from transparently viewing the code that is involuntarily being run on their computers.

Malicious web-devs exist out there and phishing will become that much easier if this type of encryption becomes a standard for the whole HTML5 specification.

Well with Netflix and O365 there are at least many alternatives that one can use if they dont agree with that nonsense.

Sadly, I dont know of any viable alternative to HTML5.

People are holding out on certain hardware or OS versions for many reasons. Would really suck if they all get thrown under the bus for DRM standards. seems very Apple-esque to me

on the plus side… influx of cheap non-supported parts on ebay maybe?

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It’s possible that the implementation is open-source. SSH provides secure and encrypted communication, yet the whole thing is open-sourced.

Will it be? I guess it depends on what the final draft of the specification will be.

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And a followup question;
This is basically a step for certain parties claiming ownership of the web, so the real issue here is not the browsers, but rather is there a future with an open web like it has thus far?
Rip internet the web?


The best part is that the internet/web is not specifically governed by any party. Not Netflix, not Microsoft, not Google. They may have influence over a lot of it and can make it difficult for people who don’t listen but, due to the decentralized nature of the internet as we know it, they can never fully silence anybody on the internet, not even the W3C.

I don’t think the W3C will be respected much longer if they continue to behave as they are in the moment.

We can say “RIP the web” but it’ll never die. It’s just too important and too powerful.

That being said, the web might change, and something like blockstack might become the new standard, but as far as I see it, the companies need the customer-base and if the right person gets wind of the disrespectful things that the W3C is doing, a revolt will surely take place. Netflix may be an internet giant, but the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

The W3C doesn’t own the web, nor do they specifically govern the standards. If I wanted to make a non-compliant web-browser, I could do that.

But would anyone use it? would companies bother with supporting such a browser instead of just holding ground, showing an “unsupported browser” banner and requiring specific Browsers/OS/Hardware in order to use the site?

That’s the thing. There are good companies and there are companies that are not so fair.

Netflix and YouTube might be some of those latter companies.

But there’s already dissident towards those companies and preparations being made by movements like LBRY and BlockStack.

Time can only tell for some of these details though.

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Bryan Lunduke started a 24-hour stream to fund his entry fee to the W3C. He already doubled his goal and intends to fund a second person. He offered wendell on stream the extra spot.

(posting Lunduke’s livestream URL, can’t scroll back to the wendell part tho)

Expect more news on this. we may have a @wendell going to the W3C if he decides to do so.
Probably 2 hours from this post they’ll be talking about this on stream

as they said, the binary blob talking secretly to another binary blob inside your cpu


Yeah I’ve seen that :slight_smile: I’m so happy that Bryan got to his goal! Finally we’ll get some insider info (maybe). If we don’t then we know that W3C really is up to some nefarious stuff.

Maybe we’ll find out that the EME specification actually includes a backdoor for the NSA? :wink:

(reposted because it looked like I didn’t directly reply )

This is why I want Purism to succeed so bad. They’re one of the few who truly seem dedicated to removing proprietary software from the hardware itself.


That’s why I backed the Librem 5. I’ll totally use it if it succeeds. Also, expect me to make a lot of content around that device.

ALSO, Bryan Lunduke and Wendell in W3C? It’s a losing battle, but definitely one we need to fight.

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Losing battle maybe, but this would have enough content for weeks to come :smiley: And of course itll be DRM

But seriously though i’d love to see what comes out of it. Would be very educational, even if it just end up being a video about how the W3C works internally.

Bryan + Wendell 2017

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