Pointed out that the existence of digital rights management is a bottleneck and there is no room for new entrants in indie web browsers

Content such as digitized movies and music is protected by a technology called

Digital Rights Management (DRM) to prevent unlimited use. Independent web browser developer Samuel Maddock said that the barriers to introducing technology that enables viewing of such protected content to web browsers are high and 'prevents the entry of new web browsers.' I'm pointing out.

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Pages that provide DRM-protected digital content, such as Netflix and Hulu, can only be accessed with a web browser that has a license agreement with the company that provides the DRM. However, Mr. Maddock who tried to conclude this license agreement was refused the contract because he was 'developing with open source'.

The technology related to the development of web browsers is open due to the idea called Open Web Platform advocated by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) . W3C is working on standardizing the system so that all web browsers can display content in the same way, and it is actually working in Chrome and Firefox. In 2013, with the support of Google and Microsoft, the W3C introduced technology to standardize DRM.

In the past, plug-ins such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight have been used to play encrypted media. However, these plugins can lead to security concerns that are beyond the control of web browser developers, and to eliminate these concerns, the W3C has introduced a technology called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), which is a plugin for web browsers. It will be possible to manage copyright-protected content without using a browser, but there have been criticisms such as 'there is no open discussion' regarding the introduction of this technology.

EME can build APIs called Content Decryption Modules (CDM) that are required to enable playback of encrypted digital content. If you want to display pages such as Netflix with a newly developed web browser, you need to install this CDM, but to do this, you need to enter into a license agreement with the company that provides the CDM. CDM includes Widevine provided by Google and PlayReady provided by Microsoft, and especially Widevine is said to be installed in more than 70% of web browsers including Chrome.

However, when Mr. Maddock contacted Widevine to sign a license agreement for a web browser called ' Metastream ' that he developed in an open source project called Chromium, he said that he had not heard about it for more than four months. During this time, Maddock said he was worried that he was forced to choose between stopping development or developing something with limited functionality. In addition, the reply sent was 'We do not support such open source.' But Widevine is the only DRM available in Chromium-based web browsers, so Maddock says he's still in talks.

Not only Maddock, but also Brendan Eich, who is known as a JavaScript developer, have been waiting for a reply from Widevine, and many other developers have reported. Mr. Maddock also considered using PlayReady, but he said that he had to give up because there is a possibility that a fee of 10,000 dollars (about 1.03 million yen) will be incurred to use it.

Maddock misunderstands the Open Web Platform's 'everyone has the right to implement web software components without a license' principle, and these barriers are used to create something that is more accessible to new entrants. It states that it needs to be changed.

in Software, Posted by log1p_kr