Category Archives: Politics

Google’s DRM proposal

Google turned Evil, along with Netflix has submitted a proposal for Digital Restriction Management for HTML5. I’ve been more or less following the emails, and just saw a great reply by Hixie that I’d like to archive.

Of course, having a DRM «standard» doesn’t make any sense, because you’d need a proprietary plugin anyway – and then we’re straight back to flash! It just doesn’t work.

But as Hixies email made me remember, is that arguing like that will be wrong. Because you’re playing on their field, like DRM should be legitimate at all. But really, Digital Restriction Management has no value and shouldn’t be added even if we could solve the unsolvable cases:

A bit of context, Ian Hickson wrote:

It’s when you’re trying to prevent the user from getting to the content that it stops making any kind of sense.

To which Mark Watson of Netflix replied:

Yes, I understand this does not make any sense to you. But it does to others. It’s a pre-requisite for services like Netflix to use HTML5 instead of plugins.

W3C needs to decide whether to work on making that a possibility, or whether HTML5 is simply not going to be a suitable technology for our segment of the industry, which would be a shame.

And Ian Hickson replied back:

No, Mark. The shame is that people’s rights are being taken away by paranoid content producers who don’t trust their users, and that there are any software engineers willing to do this for them. And shame is absolutely the right word for this.

It is morally wrong to deprive users the ability to time-shift or format-shift content they have paid for.

It is morally wrong to deprive users the ability to reuse content they have paid for purposes of parody.

It is morally wrong to deprive users the ability to criticise content they have paid for.

DRM doesn’t stop copyright violations, and is unnecessary for the purposes of selling media (indeed it seems to actually reduce total sales). The music industry figured this out a few years ago. Your industry will figure it out eventually too.

That’s the true crux of the matter!

BTW, a bit fun that Hixie is also Google, but they’ve allocated resources on this, so the DRM is the corporate direction. Hixie is an employed smart guy.

Japan Tsunami/Earthquake: Internet, damn resilient

So, every other means of communication went down. Internet is what still works. Why? Well, it was designed to be resilient, to survive nuclear war.

I hope that this can stop the downplaying and destruction of the open, free, distributed internet.

What makes the Internet great, is this distributed design. Politicians want to remove that, in order to stop child porn on the web. That must not happen, because first of all, it won’t really help, and secondly, the Internet’s free role and non-centralized design helps freedom, combats cencorship, and in this case, allows for resilient systems that can easily be extended.

Maybe, instead of wanting to censor the internet, we want to make it even easier to make backbones to the internet. Ghettonet.

If interested in this, you may want to read about Freedom box;

http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox

Actually, seeing this crisis made me donate money to the FreedomBox foundation.

Chrome drops H.264 (yay!)

So this means “my” way of doing web streaming of conferences with Theora (and in future, maybe VP8, but right now VP8 support == Theora support) is a good fit. I hope so much that VP8 wins the war. It´s obviously very important for the free software community as, well, developers can´t be expected to pay royalities for their users.

I know readers of this blog already know the counless evils of software patents, so I won´t go in to that. Suffice to say, Google is doing a great thing for the openess of the web here. You take that, evil Apple!

I learned about it in this great article, Google Hands Open Video a Huge Win

Supporting Pirate Bay, free culture, free software and generally freedom

And how could you not be pro free culture? Free is of course like Norwegain «fri», as in freedom, not «gratis». The people who are opposed it are either:

  • stupid, or
  • ostensibly rich because of the copyright system

By stupid I mean no harm. These people are controlled by their fear and doesn’t trust that we as humans are so interested in culture that we don’t need to pay billionaires our hard earned money to produce it. We’ll get more culture, we’ll get better culture. Luckily, these people are in the minority and they are being converted.

It will not be impossible to make money on culture, it will probably just get fairer and more interesting. It will benefit all of us, but sadly (oh well, luckily!) the big companies will get less to say.

The ongoing trail in Sweden against The Pirate Bay is particulary funny to follow. We really see how incredible stupid the people opposing free culture are. This quote from day 7 is just one of a whole slew of similar quotes and errors:

Gottfrid: But since you had DHT on, you have no possibility to state to the court as to whether The Pirate Bay’s tracker was actually used or not?

Mårtensson: No.

Funny! They don’t know shit. Anything. They’ve got no case. I’m totally astounded that they dare showing up against something they don’t know how works.

And let’s finish of with a beautiful drawing:

The internet is scary, it will kill music and film

And two good coments on digg, first;

I can’t believe that guys has worked in anti-piracy for 15 years, but he can’t take 2 hours to read wikipedia and learn how bittorrent works. It’s ridiculous.

The only thing this trial is going to do is bring to light just how detached from reality these groups are.

And second:

The funniest part about that is that while the IFPI lawyers have tried to portray TPB as a bunch of smarmy malcontents intent on facilitating the theft of billions from legitimate businesses – and being unrepentant about it – they’ve managed to show the defense, the judge, and the rest of the world how truly out of touch and despotic they have become.