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Google, Microsoft and Netflix propose HTML5 media encryption

Google, Microsoft and Netflix propose HTML5 media encryption

Under the proposal by Google, Microsoft and Netflix, HTML5 would get a pseudo-DRM feature to decrypt protected video and audio streams.

Engineers at Microsoft, Netflix and Google have penned a proposed extension to the HTML5 media streaming capability to add encryption for protecting copyright content.

Dubbed the 'Encrypted Media Extensions,' the trio claim that the proposed cryptography implementation does not represent an attempt to encumber the open HTML5 standard with digital rights management (DRM) technology. 'No "DRM" is added to the HTML5 specification,' the proposal claims, 'and only simple clear decryption is required as a common baseline.'

Using the proposed extensions, the HTML5MediaElement would be given the ability to acquire a decryption key using JavaScript. This key can then be used to decrypt a protected video or audio stream from within the browser.

It's easy to see why the three companies involved in the proposal would want this. Netflix is one of the largest names in streaming media, and currently relies on custom client applications or the Silverlight media playback plugin from Microsoft to decrypt its protected video streams. Google has its own video rental service via its YouTube subsidiary and on its Android handsets, while Microsoft runs rival Zune for PCs and its Windows Phone platforms.

While the three companies may be rivals in many ways, they're working together for a common goal here. The reason is simple: any DRM-like extension to HTML5's media streaming capabilities would represent a foot in the door of what will likely grow to become the most common method of watching videos or listening to audio over the internet.

The truth comes out towards the end of the proposal, in a question-and-answer format. 'Can I ensure the content key is protected without working with a content protection provider? No,' the proposal clarifies.

'Protecting the content key would require that the browser's media stack have some secret that cannot easily be obtained. This is the type of thing DRM solutions provide. Establishing a standard mechanism to support this is beyond the scope of HTML5 standards and should be deferred to specific user agent solutions. In addition, it is not something that fully open source browsers could natively support.'

As a result, Google, Microsoft and Netflix are making sure that there's room for them in the future as providers of content protection technology. Without their support, and licences for their respective products, there would be no real way to protect the key.

Not that this leaves the open source types out in the cold, the trio argue. 'Content protected using this proposal without a content protection provider is still more secure and a higher barrier than providing an unencrypted file over HTTP or HTTPS,' the proposal points out. 'We would also argue that it is no less secure than encrypted HLS [HTTP Live Streaming].'

The full proposal can be read on the W3C's website.

9 Comments

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B1GBUD 23rd February 2012, 13:20 Quote
Can't see how this could stop a video capture overlay (software or hardware) or (record what you hear) for audio.... but then someone here is bound to correct me!
Jqim 23rd February 2012, 13:44 Quote
It will never stop the capture of video it will only slow it down.

what i want is some sort of internet media licence like a TV licence and with that yearly fee i am free to go mental downloading stuff. I would easly see myself paying £30 a month to watch whatever i want whenever and with NO ADVERTS!
Bauul 23rd February 2012, 14:43 Quote
Seems sensible to me. Any required technology taken out of the hands of proprietary software and into a standard open format like HTML is a good thing.
Guinevere 23rd February 2012, 21:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqim
I would easly see myself paying £30 a month to watch whatever i want whenever and with NO ADVERTS!

And that's exactly why you'll never get this ability. £30 a month for unlimited movies, TV, documentaries and sport? So basically you'll get every single premium bit of media ever available £30 a month?

Imagine the scenario. We all sign up at £30 a month and everyone cancels their cable subscriptions, movie rental deals and stops paying for PPV. Even if the total number of 'subscribers' go up, the media companies' income goes down.

It'll never happen, you'd never get a deal made between everyone and every single attempt to create this "All you can eat" scheme falls short of being perfect.

Read this:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones
dark_avenger 23rd February 2012, 23:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqim
It will never stop the capture of video it will only slow it down.

what i want is some sort of internet media licence like a TV licence and with that yearly fee i am free to go mental downloading stuff. I would easly see myself paying £30 a month to watch whatever i want whenever and with NO ADVERTS!

+1 if they really wanted to stop piracy this is the way to do it.
SexyHyde 24th February 2012, 03:23 Quote
how about they give people what they want. the difference between us-netflix and uk-netflix is stupid, thats the thing with paid for services they are so far off the pirate version. its about time they sorted out these licencing laws because once its on the net you can get it anywhere, so at least let people have the opportunity to buy it. we dont need DRM or pseudo-DRM we need the ability to buy the content, piracy has proven there is demand. the film and music industry deserves to go bankrupt imho.
fluxtatic 24th February 2012, 07:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqim
I would easly see myself paying £30 a month to watch whatever i want whenever and with NO ADVERTS!

And that's exactly why you'll never get this ability. £30 a month for unlimited movies, TV, documentaries and sport? So basically you'll get every single premium bit of media ever available £30 a month?

Imagine the scenario. We all sign up at £30 a month and everyone cancels their cable subscriptions, movie rental deals and stops paying for PPV. Even if the total number of 'subscribers' go up, the media companies' income goes down.

It'll never happen, you'd never get a deal made between everyone and every single attempt to create this "All you can eat" scheme falls short of being perfect.

Read this:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

This. Especially The Oatmeal. Until the feds kick my door in for all the damage I'm allegedly causing the media industry, I'm all right with the way things are - the pinks pay $150/mo for cable and spend the majority of their time watching the broadcast networks. Meanwhile, I don't pay a dime to watch whatever, whenever. No ads, no trailers, no BS. If I could get cable a la carte, things might be different. Until then, though, there's no way I'm paying at least $100/mo to watch the four channels I care about, while being forced to take 50 I don't (I don't really have a need for 4 shopping channels, 4 channels that broadcast in Spanish, a dedicated informercial channel, etc, etc.)
JA12 25th February 2012, 02:44 Quote
"and only simple clear decryption is required as a common baseline."
This whole matter is very simple and the proper answer can be expressed with a single word: No.

DRM nonsense has gone far enough, we don't need more of it, we need to get rid of the existing ones so we don't get products that are already broken. What we need the least is broken standards.

"extension to the HTML5 media streaming capability to add encryption for protecting copyright content"
Copyright laws exist to protect copyrights. While copyright laws are very flawed and biased, they can be and are enforced.

You can't play a game even in single player without connecting to the internet? Your movie doesn't play in your player and those that does, you have to watch first parts of it every single time? You can't find that latest album in the online music store, and those that you do don't work in your mp3 player?

Just say no!

"but I want to watch movies and listen to music"
Yes. If I make a song, picture/photo, book, poem, or a movie, I won't be making any money if I don't sell it. With this nonsense, I can take your money and you still have to ask permission to use it, and I can deny that without giving your money back.
"You wouldn't steal a car!" -I wouldn't buy that kind of car either. Besides, if that analogy would work in a digital world, I couldn't buy the car, just a copy of it. So because they sell a flawed copy, I would just let them keep their car, make my own copy of it, and only use the parts that I need.
leexgx 25th February 2012, 06:43 Quote
thought most of them are now using MS silverlight now
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