[whatwg] More YouTube response

John Harding jharding at google.com
Fri Jul 2 12:01:31 PDT 2010

On Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 5:50 AM, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au>wrote:

> On 2010-07-02 13:56, Julian Reschke wrote:
>> On 02.07.2010 13:38, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>>> Whether playing video requires a plugin is very much an issue for this
>>> list, I think. What Henri explained -- not having lock-in to a
>>> particular platform because of proprietary plugins -- is a large part of
>>> the reason why we have <video> in the first place.
>> That may be true.
>> But there's nothing in the spec that actually disallows adding support
>> for plugin-based DRM, right? (Just clarifying)
> Correct. Vendors can theoretically implement any codec or container they
> like, with any features or limitations they like.
> MP4 already has various DRM schemes in use.  Apple, for example, could
> support FairPlay protected videos, though the use of such content with
> <video> would effectively be limited to within iTunes.
> Even Matroska has elements that can be used for general purpose encryption
> and DRM purposes, though these features were not included within WebM.  But
> theoretically, those features could be added and implemented with some
> agreed upon encryption scheme.
> I would still, however, argue against anything of the sort being added to
> WebM because DRM doesn't do anything to protect content, but is rather used
> as a way for content providers to control the market by blocking unwanted
> innovation and competition that they don't like, including open source
> software.
I think it's unavoidable that the functionality of the <video> tag in some
browsers will be extended by various add-ons to the browser.  IE's
implementation uses whatever codecs are installed and available to
DirectShow; my understanding is that Safari operates this way as well.  My
point here is primarily that it would be good for <video> tag adoption in
general if browsers enabled traditional DRM solutions to integrate in this
way.  It still requires that users will have some non-open software
installed on their machine (that's unavoidable as long as content owners
require it of us), but means that users can continue using their browser of
choice, and content distributors don't need to write a completely new player
for each DRM provider they need to support.
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