[whatwg] More YouTube response

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Fri Jul 2 13:56:47 PDT 2010

On 2010-07-02 21:01, John Harding wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 5:50 AM, Lachlan Hunt<lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au>wrote:
>> 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...
>> I would still, however, argue against anything of the sort being added to
>> WebM...
> 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.

Right, as I said, it's possible.  But that doesn't mean we should 
support it in any way.

YouTube would do better to address this issue by bringing the major 
players in the content industry to the table to discuss methods of 
publishing their content in interoperable ways without DRM.

As Henri pointed out, major content producers already broadcast their TV 
shows and movies over the air without DRM.  Although the BBC iPlayer 
uses DRM for the desktop version, they broadcast the show DRM free over 
the air and they make DRM free content available to the iPhone.  People 
have even found ways to access that from other devices too.  So the DRM 
really isn't there to protect the content.  It's just to force users to 
use the BBC's own iPlayer software, rather than letting users use their 
own choice of software.

The industry even releases content on DVD knowing that the DRM is 
completely ineffective, because they only use it so they can control the 
DVD player market, rather than actually doing anything practical about 
illegal copying.

The music industry have already largely dropped DRM.  Even Spotify, 
which does use DRM, permits the open source application deSpotify that 
bypasses the DRM to continue unimpeded for premium subscribers.  (The 
developers opted not to work around the blocks placed on free accounts 

It's all about the business model.  The industry thinks they need their 
DRM so they can hold onto the same business model they've had for years, 
without adapting. That's why they've gone to court over every new 
innovation in the last 50 years, before slowly catching up.  The truth 
is they don't need DRM, as so many independent content producers are 

YouTube and other video streaming sites just needs to push them to 
accept a reasonable and fair business model that will work.  Make it 
easy for users to stream the content, and even easier for users who want 
to buy and download the content legally.

Users currently go to torrent sites because it's easier than fighting 
with the industry to get what they want.  Make it easier to do the right 
thing.  Don't punish the legitimate them with DRM, while the "pirates" 
get away with a better user experience.

Give users a real reason to buy, and they will. e.g. Make the purchased 
content have a higher bit-rate and resolution, surround sound, no ads, 
no visible logo watermark, and/or other added features.  Provide some 
incentive, maybe a reward system that benefits the subscribers in some 
tangible way.  Do whatever you do to find a business model that works; 
just say no to DRM.  It's not needed. The big content industry knows 
that, they just won't admit it.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software

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