[whatwg] More YouTube response

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Mon Jul 5 19:25:14 PDT 2010

On Jul 5, 2010, at 13:10, Marques Johansson wrote:

> For the content that is not protected the download or stream is metered so the client can be charged only for the time they spent watching the content.  We error on the customer's side for things like buffering and misreported play segments.

There'd be no problem if you were selling content by title (plus free trailer for sampling) instead of selling it by minute.

> I think the discussion that DRM is irrelevant has its merits, but the contracts and services at play have a real value regardless of how distribution is restricted.

I think the technology providers shouldn't feel an obligation to cater to particular contract models--especially when it complicates the technology. It makes more sense to draft contracts that are reasonable given the technology. (An example of a contract that I think technology providers shouldn't attempt to cater for is a content licensing contract that tries to distinguish between desktops, mobile devices and TVs. Such a contract makes no sense when devices of any kind can support the same standards.)

> For my purposes I am interested in application-controlled video delivery.  I want to be able to deliver unprotected mp4, webm, or ogv content in a metered way.  If the user has payed to watch the entire video once and has managed to work around HTTP no-cache and the other constraints that a normal browser viewed experience would have, then they will have succeeding in downloading a copy of the video - a task which they could have accomplished with a VM session or through other means regardless of DRM.

If the customers pay for seeing an entire title, why is it a problem if a customer once in a while downloads the bytes twice? Surely it is simpler to bake the average bandwidth cost into the price and not complicate the way the delivery technology behaves.

> These requests can be seen as generally allowing servers to reduce load for video or large file downloads.  Since a client may be able to download 5 minutes of video in under a minute I would like to see the client disconnect from the server and reconnect in 5 minutes to get the additional content.  

Wouldn't this be a non-problem if the customers paid by title? In that case, it would seem pointless to worry about the content getting downloaded faster than it is played.

It seems to me that your problem is picking a pricing model that's unnatural for the technology.

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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