After years of insisting that DRM in HTML would not block open supply implementations, Google says it will not help open supply implementations

After years of insisting that DRM in HTML would not block open supply implementations, Google says it will not help open supply implementations

The bitter, yearslong debate on the World Huge Internet Consortium over a proposal to standardize DRM for net browsers included frequent assurances by the pro-DRM aspect (notably Google, whose Widevine DRM was in line to be the principal beneficiary) that this would not have an effect on the flexibility of free/open supply authors to implement the usual.

The absurd figleaf used to justify this was a reference implementation of EME in open supply that solely labored on video that did not have the DRM turned on. The one folks this impressed have been individuals who weren’t paying consideration or lacked the technical depth to know instrument that solely works underneath circumstances which can be by no means seen in the actual world was irrelevant to real-world circumstances.

Now the actual world has arrived, and it was simply as predicted. Samuel Maddock is a free software program developer who’s creating a brand new browser known as Metastream, derived from Chromium, the free/open model of Google’s Chrome. Metastream is designed to permit customers to “playback movies on the net, synchronized with different friends.”

That is clearly not a copyright violation of any sort. Metastream permits customers who’re streaming movies they’re allowed to to stream to synchronize playback to allow them to watch them collectively. In an age of Twitch, that is clearly helpful (additionally: it is one thing I personally ghost-wrote in to the BBC’s 2006 Constitution Renewal doc as a favor to one of many folks concerned, so it is one thing that main rightsholder teams like the concept of, too).

Maddock needed to permit his customers to do that with the movies they pay to look at on Widevine-restricted companies like Hulu and Netflix, so he utilized to Google for a license to implement Widevine in his browser. 4 months later, Google despatched him a one-sentence reply: “I am sorry however we’re not supporting an open supply resolution like this” (apparently 4 months’ delay wasn’t sufficient time to hunt up a comma or a interval).

The connection to the Article 13 debate needs to be apparent: for years, advocates for the Directive insisted that it may very well be carried out with out filters, however in fact it requires filters. Likewise, for yr, EME’s backers insisted that it would not forestall us from having open, auditable, free-as-in-speech browsers that anybody might examine, enhance and distribute. However in fact it does.

Of course it does.

I’m now solely left with two choices relating to the destiny of Metastream: cease improvement of a desktop browser model, or pivot my venture to a browser extension with lowered options. The latter requiring publishing to the Google Chrome Internet Retailer which might additional entrench the venture right into a Google walled backyard.

I attempted creating an online browser, and Google blocked me [Samuel Maddock]

Boy howdy, that is one topic the place I detest saying “I advised you so”, however… I certain advised you so.[1] [Diaz/Hacker News]

(by way of 4 Quick Hyperlinks)

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