How does Google put open source browser development under exclusive control using digital rights management?



Google Chrome, a web browser developed by Google, is a web browser developed based on an open source web browser development project called ' Chromium '. Boing Boing from overseas media has summarized why Google is able to put Chrome development under substantial control despite open source development projects.

How DRM has allowed Google to have an 'open source' browser that is still under its exclusive control / Boing Boing

Free software developer Benjamin 'Mako' Hill gave a talk in 2018 that the appearance of the 'open source' concept has led to lower costs and higher quality for software development in enterprises. . Hill argues that companies use patents, digital rights management (DRM), and terms of service to control that users are not too free within the open source framework.

You can check the contents of the lecture by Hill from the following.

How markets coopted free software's most powerful weapon (LibrePlanet '18 Keynote) — Benj. Mako Hill-YouTube

In his talk, Hill focuses on how SaaS destroys free software and open software licenses, but Boing Boing says, 'DRM in fact gives extra legal protection Insist. 'Reverse engineering and re-implementing the code is illegal, and this has something to do with restricting access to the work,' Boing Boing said. In addition, the fact that services and products are protected by DRM can control projects so that companies that control DRM become interoperable products.

And that's how Google is a good way to manage Chrome, the web browser. Based on the open source project Chromium, Google Chrome is now the world's most used web browser . Chrome's influence is tremendous, and Microsoft, the developer of Internet Explorer , who has long gained a large share in the web browser market, will make it the same Chromium-based browser as Chrome, with Edge, the web browser developed as a successor to Internet Explorer. It is enough to announce.

Microsoft officially approves Chromium-based browser development, Mozilla 'goodbye' to Edge-GIGAZINE

Another web browser, Opera, is also a Chromium-based browser, which is open source itself, and is freely available to all developers. However, unless you license Google's own DRM component, called Widevine , Chromium-based browsers can not play most of the video content that exists on the Internet. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has standardized an API for connecting with Widevine in 2017. In this regard, as a proposal to prevent DRM from becoming a 'tool to weaken competition' from W3C members, it is proposed to establish a membership rule requiring that Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is not abused. Yes, but this was voted down.

Before 2017, all W3C standards were freely implemented by everyone, and free / open browser developers were free to develop browser competitors that large companies developed. However, since that time, important W3C standards require their own components to work, and most of those 'unique components' are under Google control. And Google is n't licensing these components to free and open source developers, so it 's very hard for Chrome's competing browser to be born.

This is exactly what the W3C is targeting in the standardization of DRM, and Boing Boing that the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other organizations are concerned.

by Charles PH

Now that Boing Boing is becoming a common component of almost all browsers, it points out that Widevine's flaws can have disastrous consequences for billions of users.

in Software, Posted by logu_ii