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[liberationtech] WC3 and DRM

Catherine Roy ecrire at
Mon Jul 15 20:45:11 PDT 2013

As a member of the HTML working group and the Restricted Media community 
group, my experience is that discussions within these groups surrounding 
the EME draft have been extremely frustrating.  The same scenario as 
with Jeff Jaffe's blog post has happened there. The whole thing has been 
rather unreal and this recent post[1] from a Restricted Media mailing 
list member sums up my feelings about how futile the whole exercice has 

A group of people have decided to try to build and maintain a profile of 
HTML5[2] that is more aligned to a human rights perspective. I know they 
could use some help so if anyone wants to lend a hand, it would 
certainly be appreciated.

Best regards,



Catherine Roy

On 2013-07-13 23:13, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
> Hi List,
>      Looking at the enormous list of members in the WC3 along with the 
> fact that application membership is subject to final arbitrary 
> approval by the current WC3, I'm concerned about the lack of 
> democratic checks on their decision making.
> Example with Encrypted Media Extensions draft:
> Here's a Free Software Foundation page briefly describing the problem 
> and stating that 28,000 people signed on that they want to reject 
> Encrypted Media Extensions as a web standard:
> Here's the Electronic Frontier Foundation's formal objection to the 
> HTML Working Group Charter that explains the problem in detail:
> And, perhaps most revealingly, here's a blog entry about 
> "perspectives" on the issue from Jeffrey Jaffe, former CTO of Novell 
> and current CEO of the WC3:
> The comments to that blog are instructive, not just because they 
> overwhelmingly make articulate arguments against the inclusion of EME 
> into WC3 standards, but because every single reply by Jaffe is 
> predicated upon the premise that the Working Group Charter refered to 
> by the EFF has already been decided and is clearly not part of the 
> debate.  (Notice for example how many of his responses simply turn the 
> question back to the commenter asking them what their proposal is to 
> support playback of "protected content" over the web.)
> Whether you agree with me (and 28,000 who signed the FSF's petition) 
> or not, there is clearly a problem of public accountability with a 
> public standards body here.  Unlike the anti-SOPA/PIPA campaign, there 
> are no politicians worried about reelection who can be called and 
> emailed.  It's a small staff supported by member companies who 
> obviously want to see DRM standardized into the browser-- otherwise 
> that wording wouldn't have found its way into the charter.
> Are there actions planned further than what the EFF and FSF have 
> already taken?  I know this is a "tech" list, but the problem of how 
> standards get formed isn't going to go away any time soon, and there 
> should be a sustainable way to ensure that the WC3 is responsive to 
> the users and not just its funders.
> -Jonathan
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