×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.

Firefox 406

JimLynch (684194) writes "Mozilla has been in the news quite a lot over the last few months. This time the organization is being hammered by open source advocates for adding Adobe DRM to Firefox. But did the folks at Mozilla really have a choice when it comes adding DRM? An open source project like Mozilla is not immune to market pressures. And with so many competing browsers such as Chrome adding DRM for Netflix, etc. how could Firefox avoid adding it? Is it realistic to think that Firefox can simply ignore such things? I don't think so and the reason why is in Firefox's usage numbers over the last few years."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Not denying something is different from forcing it (-1, Flamebait)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#47033377)

No one is forcing you to use the DRM in Firefox. They are simply allowing it as an option. Blocking something because RMS does not approve is the opposite of freedom, be it DRM, a binary driver, or whatever. If my definition of acceptable is not as valid as yours, that is a problem.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033421)

Blocking something because RMS does not approve is the opposite of freedom

Nonsense. Choosing not to include some feature in your product is exercising your freedom, unless someone's actually forcing you to do it.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033493)

unless someone's actually forcing you to do it.

"They forced me with money" is the reiterated excuse of some of the most despicable amoral scum.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033455)

I'm not particularly worried about Firefox providing a socket to plug in some DRM module into, because I don't really see much difference between that and other binary plugins. As a Linux user, I'm more worried that anyone who does want to use it will have to rely on Adobe to provide and maintain that module, because their track record has been rather spotty.

Would I use it myself? I honestly haven't made up my mind yet. From what I understand it would be mostly for movies, and my current computer is a bit too loud for that to be an enjoyable experience...

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (5, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#47033809)

I'm not particularly worried about Firefox providing a socket to plug in some DRM module into, because I don't really see much difference between that and other binary plugins. As a Linux user, I'm more worried that anyone who does want to use it will have to rely on Adobe to provide and maintain that module, because their track record has been rather spotty.

The big win from following a standard for the DRM plug-in is that now it will be obvious what's a DRM plug-in, and what's not. Hate DRM? Write a browser extension that makes use of this standard!

Seriously, if you really want to make heads asplode: write a FF extension that detects a DRM stream, determines the title from context, and automatically torrents the same title instead. If you can't do it as a plug-in, make a fork, since it's a stunt anyhow. I'm perfectly happy with paying Netflix, myself, but I'd certainly cheer if someone wrote this just to show the folly of the entire DRM approach.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#47033471)

As I understand it, RMS has three points [fsf.org] :

1) DRM is bad.
2) Firefox implementing DRM is one piece of the problem.
3) Firefox is free to do whatever they want, but if they felt forced to implement DRM, it would have been better if they at least made an effort to warn the users about the risks. Instead they are publicly praising Adobe for their approach to DRM.

People who criticize RMS often don't even know what he said. That is not true of everyone, but most comments on the net are rather clueless about it. DRM is bad, that's not even controversial.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (2, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#47033537)

1) DRM is bad.

Yep. So are taxes, and work for many people.

2) Firefox implementing DRM is one piece of the problem.

Nope. It is a symptom of the problem. The problem is that there is lots of content that people want that is only legally available with DRM. If you want the content, the choice is support the DRM or steal it. There are merits to both paths.

3) Firefox is free to do whatever they want, but if they felt forced to implement DRM, it would have been better if they at least made an effort to warn the users about the risks. Instead they are publicly praising Adobe for their approach to DRM.

Oh, God no! We are already way too overwarned. Turing every movie into the panic over self signed certs is NOT the answer.

People who criticize RMS often don't even know what he said. That is not true of everyone, but most comments on the net are rather clueless about it. DRM is bad, that's not even controversial.

Stalman is a brilliant man who has done a lot for computing in general. (Not just open source) He is also an uncompromising ass that is very hard to work with. For those of us that live and work in the real world, this is not a path we can take. I prefer the ESR approach to picking battles that make a difference.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033663)

Nope. It is a symptom of the problem. The problem is that there is lots of content that people want that is only legally available with DRM. If you want the content, the choice is support the DRM or steal it. There are merits to both paths.

If you want the content, the choice is to tell the content providers that you will not take it with DRM attached to it.

For those of us that live and work in the real world, this is not a path we can take.

Those of you that live and work in the real world enabled the holocaust. You accept incarceration, torture and murder of innocents under the banner "fight against terrorism" as collateral damage for your version of "real world".

And you are proud of it. You look down on people who let their conscience guide their acts and who actually make sacrifices for their values and beliefs. People living in "the real world" don't go protesting on the street. They stick their head out for nobody.

Re: Not denying something is different from forcin (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033895)

"Those of you that live and work in the real world enabled the holocaust"

From a Jew: Fuck you, asshole.

Re: Not denying something is different from forcin (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033977)

From a German: We'll get you next time, hooky.

Re: Not denying something is different from forcin (0)

S.O.B. (136083) | about 6 months ago | (#47034005)

Amen. I'm not a Jew but I completely agree.

Anyone who equates someone who accepts DRM with someone who accepts the systematic slaughter of an entire people by the state needs to have their sense of proportion adjusted.

Re: Not denying something is different from forcin (1, Informative)

BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) | about 6 months ago | (#47034035)

The best part of all these Nazi references is that they reveal people who are ignorant of what an analogy is.

Hint: It's not the same as saying "These things are exactly alike."

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (3, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47033935)

If you want the content, the choice is to tell the content providers that you will not take it with DRM attached to it.

Which will most likely be met with "fuck off, how else do you expect to lock content down by region so we can charge more in countries where people can afford more?"

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (3, Insightful)

BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) | about 6 months ago | (#47033687)

If you want the content, the choice is support the DRM or steal it.

Why steal it when you could just ask someone to voluntarily send you some data? Have to do things the hard way, do you?

And another option is to just ignore the content completely.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033693)

1) DRM is bad.

Yep. So are taxes, and work for many people.

No, Taxes and work are something you don't like, but are nessecary. Taxes pay for things like your clean drinking water, roads, street signs and lighting, all the things we actually like government for. Work allows you to purchase food, a place to sleep, clothes, a budget for entertainment.

DRM has no actual upside. There is no "Weeelll but roads are kinda nice" counter point. DRM is bad. Period. It doesn't work at it stated purpose, costs the people who implement it more money to use it, and those of up willing to bypass it do so trivially while those that are not willing suffer under new restrictions while actually being paying customers.

The only thing DRM is good for is keeping DRM manufacturers in business. It literally serves no useful purpose.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47033965)

You can live perfectly fine without digital content. Not watching the latest movie isn't going to make you sick, like drinking polluted water is.

Watching videos on the internet is completely optional and is in no way comparable to public services.

If someone believes they benefit from using DRM, let them. You don't need their content, they would like your money though.
As soon as they realise they'll make more money without it, they'll stop using it.
If they actually do make more money with it, who are you to stop them?

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033765)

Sorry, but Firefox adding DRM, in whatever manner they are, is still a shift in the browser industry going forward. There isn't a mainstream browser, that I see, committed to FOSS philosophies out there anymore. I just heard about Pale Moon, but let's face it folks. Firefox, Chrome and IE are mainstream. The others are side projects. Safari, well, doesn't exist on Linux does it. Even I.E. can be shoe-horned on Linux if needed.

Point is, moving forward, there is no longer a major browser that hasn't caved to big media, and DRM. That is, in itself, a continuation of a disturbing trend we're seeing across the Internet, and computing in general. If you don't think this isn't part of that, you haven't been paying attention.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#47033903)

1) DRM is bad.

Yep. So are taxes,

Uh, most people understand why taxes are a good thing. There are people who feel that we are being taxed too much, but there aren't many people who want to get rid of taxes. Some form of taxation is necessary for the operation of the government.

Oh, God no! We are already way too overwarned.

Most people don't know the risks of DRM, a lot of people don't even know what DRM is. YOU might have been overwarned, but most people have never heard of The Right to Read [gnu.org] , and don't understand why DRM could be problematic. As long as it doesn't get in the way, they are fine with it.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033539)

Also, people who criticize RMS often end up being wrong.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033591)

Just because he is right does not mean that he isn't a paranoid lunatic. Denial is the only way to stay sane nowadays.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (1)

fuzzytv (2108482) | about 6 months ago | (#47033595)

Where are my mod points when I need them?

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (4, Informative)

jbn-o (555068) | about 6 months ago | (#47033659)

Let's not also forget two other particularly powerful points made in the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) essay:

  • "We understand that Mozilla is afraid of losing users. Cory Doctorow points out [theguardian.com] that they have produced no evidence to substantiate this fear or made any effort to study the situation."
  • "More importantly, popularity is not an end in itself. This is especially true for the Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit with an ethical mission. In the past, Mozilla has distinguished itself and achieved success by protecting the freedom of its users and explaining the importance of that freedom: including publishing Firefox's source code, allowing others to make modifications to it, and sticking to Web standards in the face of attempts to impose proprietary extensions."

Brad Kuhn builds on these points in his essay discussing Mozilla's announcement [ebb.org] : "Theoretically speaking, though, the Mozilla Foundation is supposed to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity which told the IRS [mozilla.com] its charitable purpose was: to "keep the Internet a universal platform that is accessible by anyone from anywhere, using any computer, and ... develop open-source Internet applications". Baker fails to explain how switching Firefox to include proprietary software fits that mission. In fact, with a bit of revisionist history, she says that open source was merely an "approach" that Mozilla Foundation was using, not their mission."

Speaking of how people criticize the FSF without reading what they say, the FSF is not an "open source advocate" despite /.'s insistence to the contrary such as is stated in this story's headline. The FSF and the free software movement predate the developmental methodology known as open source, and the FSF fights for values the open source movement sets out to deny, namely software freedom. The FSF has published more than one essay on this topic (1 [gnu.org] , 2 [gnu.org] ) and RMS includes a clear and cogent explanation of this point in virtually every talk you'll hear him give. Archives of these talks are readily available online [gnu.org] in formats that favor free software. Mozilla's choice here is another example of reaching radically different conclusions given different philosophies: Mozilla's open source choice versus a free software activist's choice to reject DRM for many valid reasons the FSF points out.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (3, Interesting)

mozumder (178398) | about 6 months ago | (#47033763)

1) DRM is bad.

Did you nerds think your cunning plan all the way through to make this statement?

It's a very democratic thing to say DRM is bad, because it treats information as a free resource, allowing the poor and the weak to gain information. This is why RMS wants information to be free.

But the opposite is actually better: information should NOT be free. There should be costs associated with gaining information.

You can obviously figure out the many reasons why there should be costs for information. But the BEST reason to keep information expensive is so that it maintains an imbalance among people.

Free information allows everyone to be equal. That actually is a TERRIBLE thing, because it treats everyone equally.

But the key thing in life, is that, NO ONE wants to be treated equally. Instead, EVERYONE wants to gain power over others. This is the basic law of life: to gain power over others. You do this in everything you do. You brush your teeth in the morning because you want to be better than the uglies that don't. You get a job because you want to be better than the homeless people that don't. And so on.

Evolution is why this happens. Animals, and you, find mates because you are able to project a gain of power over others.

It's amazing how people say they want equality in life, when they do everything they can to be unequal.

Socially clueless and inept nerds obviously haven't figured this out, as their low social status demonstrates, but the real world is filled with people gaining power over you. There is no such thing as a person that wants to reduce power.

Gaining power is the fundamental meaning of life, as evolution has shown. It is not the content of your character that matters in life. It is your power.

And treating information as a valuable resource, instead of a commodity, is a way to maintain power over others.

And that's something you, and everyone else in the world, wants.

This is why those in power, who control expensive content, want DRM.

I guess maybe in your next life, you will have more power, and you will know why DRM is a good thing. But right now, most people don't want to be treated the same as a homeless person.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033927)

Put down the Ayn Rand novel and leave your mom's basement for once, you fucking loser.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#47033967)

What on earth are you trying to say? That DRM is not bad, because there are some people who like it?

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 6 months ago | (#47034055)

We need an "insightful troll" mod. +0.5, perhaps.

Clearly trolling, but you have perfectly expressed "the enemy's" stance on DRM. "We" need DRM because some people want to preserve their positions of power over the information-have-nots, simple as that.

And I don't even mean music and movies, we can live without those. I mean textbooks; I mean research journal access; I mean "for profit" municipal codes of law; I mean for-profit industry standards specs; I mean proprietary and impenetrable pricing structures like health insurance fees.

So although you troll us, you magnificent bastard, you also have one of the insightful posts on this topic so far.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (4, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#47033877)

But Mozilla's scheme may be:

1. Implement DRM to make sure the users don't massively ditch Firefox.
2. Attract more users, get >90% market share
3. Ditch DRM

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (2)

jopsen (885607) | about 6 months ago | (#47034075)

But Mozilla's scheme may be:

1. Implement DRM to make sure the users don't massively ditch Firefox. 2. Attract more users, get >90% market share 3. Ditch DRM

Not for from it... From what I hear the idea is that when the content industry makes the majority of it's revenue from online streaming, they'll likely reconsider DRM. Most likely it'll go away on it's own, because it's complicated and expensive to implement on the server side. And it provides a buggy user experience.


I suspect that eventually netflix will be ones with the power to kill DRM. Imagine how much cheaper their distribution would be, if they didn't have to encrypt every stream individually.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 6 months ago | (#47033509)

Blocking something because RMS does not approve is the opposite of freedom, be it DRM, a binary driver, or whatever.

And denying people the ability to yell "fire" in a crowded theater is also "the opposite of freedom."
However, there's also the caveat that it's better for society to limit certain freedoms,
because otherwise they would otherwise impinge on all of us in a negative way.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (1)

fuzzytv (2108482) | about 6 months ago | (#47033589)

What? How is yelling "fire" in a theater similar to publicly warning people about issues with DRM? That's one of the weirdest analogies I heard in a very long time.

Anyway, please explain how is DRM beneficial to the society, that it's worth limiting such freedoms as reporting bugs in the DRM technology.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#47033917)

Wow, you should read that post again, because you completely misunderstood it. He's saying DRM is not beneficial to society, but you seem to have understood the opposite.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033937)

Oh FFS, this stupid example again? Did you know that there's no prohibition against yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater, WHEN THERE'S A FIRE IN THE THEATER!

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (3, Interesting)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47033551)

Mozilla are not just supporting DRM, you could already view DRM media, the significant development is their supporting for the addition of DRM to the web in a claimed standard, a damaging development for the open web. Mozilla had the choice of supporting the viewing of DRM media outside the web, by using a plugin or by using a separate media player. The DRM web interface they have decided to support, the EME, in not even capable of playing media on it's own, it is just part of a play and the rest is proprietary JS supplied by the content distributor. This is a strategy promoted by the distributors to advance their own selfish interests, by Netflix/Google/MS, it locks the user into using the distributors web based media player, is anti-competitive, and damages the health of the open web market. By supporting the EME Mozilla has made it almost impossible for the open web community to promote alternatives, damaging the open web community, in an act of betrayal.

Mozilla made no attempt to promote alternatives, have not explained the technical details of their EME/CDM design in enough detail for their claims of user security and privacy to be verified, and have refused to clarify that users can even view DRM media via Netflix in all its glory using their EME/CDM which was a key claimed reason for their decision, and have not been honest in the reasons for their decision (it's is not about supporting the viewing of DRM media because this is already possible).

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47033983)

If you want to verify their claims of security, download the source code and have a look for yourself.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (2)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47034039)

I have ask, bug Mozilla claim that the source code for the sandbox has not been written. Mozilla have not detailed the planned design in enough detail to verify their claims.

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033707)

No one is forcing you to use the DRM in Firefox. They are simply allowing it as an option.

Like supporting JPG files. Or supporting H264*. Oh, right, no. DRM isn't an "option" or a "feature". Supporting DRM is really legally supporting a system of intentional encumbering of an otherwise useful tool by distributors of which the illegal option of circumventing that encumbrance is wholly up to the distributor to decide upon. And note I say distributor for a reason because it's been repeatedly shown that DRM has been slapped onto public domain works and because the same DRM scheme is used elsewhere on copyrighted works it's still just as illegal to break the DRM for the public domain works. Really, DRM is basically an anti-patent system**.

Blocking something because RMS does not approve is the opposite of freedom, be it DRM, a binary driver, or whatever.

Sure, if it were merely because RMS does not approve. But if it's because RMS spells out an argument on why DRM, a binary driver, or whatever grants less freedom to users and developers and in you agreeing you decide to not be a part of the problem, it's very much an expression of freedom. Or do you think people blindly follow RMS under some tyranny where RMS hasn't spelled out his opinions and for which "RMS supporters" always agree or fully go along with what he suggests? No, that's not at all what it's like.

If my definition of acceptable is not as valid as yours, that is a problem.

Perhaps so. If you see slavery as acceptable, that is a problem. Not that I think you do, but all you are stating is a tautology. It speaks nothing about the specific point about DRM or Firefox.

*This is at least a reasonable point of contention. Where RMS wants free software, there are times when there's sufficient creative input into something that it's hard not to see why a group might want to patent what they do and recoup the costs through a licensing scheme that would inherently would be incompatible with free software--there's too much of a free rider problem and patents cover the overlying technology and not the underlying optimizations so the patent holder may never have the "best" implementation nor be in any better situation to recoup costs through support. This same problem can happen with games where art assets are a significant cost of creation. But at least H264 is an actual useful technology.

**Patents prevent, without proper licensing, a specific technology--ie, alternative circumventions are strictly legal. DRM prevents, period, anything but a specific technology--ie, alternative circumventions are strictly illegal. Of course mix DRM with patents and you've got a great legal lock out. Of course, given that DRM is both a lock and a key, the only reason to circumvent a technology is for interoperability with an established format, protocol, etc. Ie, it's an entirely artificially constructed barrier of entry. That's a pretty big cock up unless that was intentional. My guess is it was intentional

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (1, Flamebait)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 6 months ago | (#47033743)

Did he criticise Chrome when it put DRM in?

No.. then he can stfu. Why is this news now Firefox is implementing the standard that everyone else supports?!

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033907)

"DRM should be illegal" -- Richard Stallman

Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47034019)

You really are an imbecile.

I think... (0, Offtopic)

Lisias (447563) | about 6 months ago | (#47033383)

I think that a better option coulbe be DO NOT DRIVE AWAY TECHNICALLY COMPETENT STAFF using ludicrous, infamous (and almost illegal) arguments.

But hey, it's just my two cents.

Re:I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033483)

Almost illegal?

Which parts of the arguments are "almost" illegal?

For that matter, what do you mean by "almost" illegal? Don't you mean "unethical" or perhaps more like "not corresponding to your standards of legality, completely ignoring what actually is legal"?

Legal vs illegal is pretty cut and dried. An act is either illegal or it's legal. There's no "sort of" when it comes to an issue of legality.

One might be tempted to think that (0)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 6 months ago | (#47033515)

Legal vs illegal is pretty cut and dried. An act is either illegal or it's legal. There's no "sort of" when it comes to an issue of legality.

I mean, it's a fine tip of the hat to the notion of "Rule of Law".
But the Affordable Care Act, inter alia, belies the notion. Law is now "that thing we emote about together with an eye toward polls".

Re:I think... (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#47033549)

Legal vs illegal is pretty cut and dried. An act is either illegal or it's legal. There's no "sort of" when it comes to an issue of legality.

You are obviously not a tax lawyer. :)

Re: I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033569)

Funniest thing I've read all week!

"Legal" and "illegal" are whatever a judge in good standing decides them to be in any particular case. With "good" lawyers there are plenty of things for which innocent people have been convicted, and guilty gone free.

The legal system has largely failed.

As has Firefox. Who still uses that thing anyway?

Re:I think... (1)

daremonai (859175) | about 6 months ago | (#47033699)

Legal vs. illegal isn't particularly cut and dried in general. But arguments alone normally aren't illegal, provided they avoid weaponry and stay within reasonable volume limits. Admittedly, the second of these seems hard to achieve on the Internet.

Nothing changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033385)

DRM was already there with plugins which you can install or not install, enable or disable. So the boundary from plugin to built-in blurred a bit. So what, as long as you can enable or disable the DRM with an about:config or extension. Same thing, nothing changed.

Prophecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033447)

Re:Nothing changed (2)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47033601)

There is a big difference between a proprietary plugin using a generic interface, and supporting an open web specification designed specifically to support DRM, a specification that does not even allow the viewing of the resource without further proprietary JS supplied by the distributor. It's anti-competitive and damaging to the open web community. How hard will it be to promote an alternative now that Mozilla back the EME, almost impossible, and this is the damage Mozilla have done.

Re:Nothing changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033643)

It's anti-competitive and damaging to the open web community

If you don't mind me asking, can you tell us how?

Re:Nothing changed (2)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47033921)

The EME is only part of a media player, the part with the DRM decoder, and it can not play content on its own. The distributors supply proprietary JS to make a complete media player. This locks users into using their web base media player and destroys the market for such media players. This was a deliberate tactic by the distributors, they refused to specify a complete standard. It damages the interests of users. Mozilla's support for the EME makes it much more difficult for the open web community to promote alternative and this has damages the open web community. Adding a specialized DRM interface to the web, as a claimed open web standard, is also damaging in many ways, limiting innovation, and has chilling effects.

Yes, they had a choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033389)

I am dissappoint

alternative ie fork (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033397)

If you run a Debian-based release you can switch to Iceweasel & Icedove V.24. You lose 'secure browsing' i.e. Google watching over your every move. Beyond that, I see only gain. I recommend it.

Re:alternative ie fork (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#47033557)

Beyond that? I see not giving Google a list of all my websites to be a plus myself.

Why blame Mozilla (3, Insightful)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 6 months ago | (#47033405)

The other browser vendors have implemented EME, even IE, which is (caution, sarcasm ahead) well known for implementing the newest HTML5 technologies. Mozilla's only option was to rescue what could be rescued. Blame Google, MS and the MPAA instead, they have deserved the shitstorm.

Re:Why blame Mozilla (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47033561)

Really? Apple, Google and Opera are all going to add EME?

Re:Why blame Mozilla (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 6 months ago | (#47033957)

Wikipedia states: "The initial enablers for DRM in HTML5 were Google and Microsoft.". I don't know about safari or opera.

Re:Why blame Mozilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033685)

This is some really stupid bullshit you're spitting. You have stretched pretty far to somehow blame Microsoft for this one.

Re:Why blame Mozilla (4, Insightful)

fuzzytv (2108482) | about 6 months ago | (#47033715)

No, it's not. Or at least, there are no clear arguments to support this claim (see the article from Cory Doctorow in Guardian, explaining this in more detail: http://www.theguardian.com/tec... [theguardian.com] ).

The only vague argument available is along the lines "netflix transfers a lot of data => it's important => we'll loose a lot of users if we don't support EME". Which is quite weak implication, IMNSHO. For example it's absolutely unsupported claim that users will abandon Firefox completely - there were times when I had to use IE occasionally, because dumb webdesigners made it work only with IE. But I was using FF or some other browser, because it was superior in every other aspect.

Second, it absolutely absolutely ignores countries not covered by Netflix - which is pretty much everywhere outside America and northern part of Europe.

And finally, this DRM is as futile as all the other DRM technologies - it's going to be broken sooner or later (rather sooner), and there are other ways to pirate movies. DVDs/blurays, recording DVB-T ... so the only people not suffering by this are going to be pirates. Just like with all the previous technologies.

Anyway, I always thought the goal of Mozilla is not to acquire the highest browser marketshare, but to offer a truly open-source alternative. Also, browser is not the only project they have. This could have been a great education opportunity - showing a page briefly explaining the DRM issues, why Mozilla decided not to implement it, etc.

Partnership with Adobe, one of the companies most hostile towards open-source, that's a slap in the face.

However, Mozilla is not the only offender here - the first step was done by W3C, who allowed EME to be become part of the standard.

Good points (1)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#47033749)

"there were times when I had to use IE occasionally, because dumb webdesigners made it work only with IE. But I was using FF or some other browser, because it was superior in every other aspect."

EXACTLY. Those are the moments when you knew FF was doing it right, that made you more, not less loyal to FF. But then some suit somewhere figured that this would cause you to switch to IE full time (instead of reminding you why you avoid it) and so they ordered the developers to make FF more like the other browsers.

Funny enough, the more they work on that, the fewer users they have left.

Re:Why blame Mozilla (2)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 6 months ago | (#47033949)

With website js, your firefox already runs closed-source software all the time. Everything Mozilla creates and ships will be open source, and firefox will download the CDM and execute it in a sandbox, just like the js. I doubt that the sandbox chrome or IE have are as secure as the Firefox sandbox.

Mozilla must ask the user for their consent whether to install the CDM, as they must at least accept the license. This could be a good spot for Mozilla to explain that DRM is bad, while still allowing the user to click "Yes, I want to restrict my freedom".

W3C allows EME to become a standard or not doesn' bother Microsoft or Google.

Already now certain youtube videos are blocked in several countries because of copyright disputes. And I can't watch BBC videos as I'm no resident of england.

"Simply ignore"? Hogwash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033427)

The question is not whether or not "simply ignore" a demand for DRM-encumbered media. The question is whether to deliberately choose not to be part of an industry screwing over its users. The choice not be part of an industry, obviously, means a loss in business.

That's the whole point of a boycott: making a statement that business is not a justification for everything, at least for some people.

Open Source vs For Profit (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#47033441)

What does the source being freely available have to do with this? How is that supposed to have any bearing on market pressures?

If they are a publicly traded, for profit company, they are absolutely subject to market pressures.
If they are simply for profit they are indirectly subject to market pressures.
If they are a non-profit entity, market pressures is a meaningless concept.

I am not exactly sure what what Mozilla is as Mozilla Foundation is non-profit, but Mozilla Corporation is for profit; And I am not sure which controls what or how that makes any sense (sounds like a sneaky way to avoid taxes and get cheap labour).

Re:Open Source vs For Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033821)

If they are a non-profit entity, market pressures is a meaningless concept.
 
Being non-profit doesn't mean that your project can survive not having enough money to sustain itself. Market pressures certainly still do apply and when people like you start realizing all that this simple concept entails the sooner we can have people realize that being mindful of how you spend your dollars and other resources that have a potential monetary value the sooner we can have people act in a responsible manner instead of crying for the sweet dickering of big government.

Users make the final decision ... (5, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | about 6 months ago | (#47033449)

At the end of the day, it will be users who decide between Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, and the multitude of other options out there. These users will make their decision based upon a variety of factors. For some it will be access to DRMed content. For others it will be a completely open source product. Of course there are other reasons too.

I'm guessing that the Mozilla foundation tried to figure out what their user base wanted, and came up with the answer that content would keep more users than excluding the DRM module would. Maybe they are right. Maybe they are wrong. Only time will tell.

As long as the proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033451)

"DRM module" passes the de-encrypted content back to the open code for actual display to the user, it's all good.

That code will of course be able to be modified to save the de-encrypted content to disk instead of, or in addition to, displaying it.

Re:As long as the proprietary (1)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47033669)

This is a good point, Mozilla have not supplied enough details to verify their claims. If it is this easy to save the decoded output then it is almost certain that big budget content owners will not support it and it will not solve the problem Mozilla claimed forced them into making this decision namely allowing users to view Netflix content. What privilege does the CDM have and how secure is the user's privacy, we just can not verify Mozilla's claims.

Re:As long as the proprietary (1)

allo (1728082) | about 6 months ago | (#47033779)

look at the graphic in the spec at w3.org. The module is allowed to display the graphics by itself, bypassing the browser.

Re:As long as the proprietary (1)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47033835)

But how is the CDM going to get such privilege control of a computer to prevent an open web browser reading the decoded output? There is a sandbox, but what about the output of the sandbox? There is just not enough technical detail to verify the claimed user security and control while being a robust DRM system.

I can sympathize... (1)

fleabay (876971) | about 6 months ago | (#47033453)

I am also in a situation with no choice. Is it realistic to think that I can simply ignore that my tabs are on top? I don't think so.

What are we worrying about? (4, Interesting)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 6 months ago | (#47033467)

If DRM is really impossible to implement in F/OSS software, without closed source or the threat of political force... Then what's the worry?

It seems like the worst-case scenario is media providers get a false sense of security and start providing content without silly plugins that actually ARE closed and non-accessible (under the threat of legal action).

Re:What are we worrying about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47034011)

What Mozilla added is support for the new plugin API for DRM. The actual DRM implementation is still a closed-source plugin just like Flash, but using a different API.

It Caved Man (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033475)

It caved man! It's like over man! The whole fucking world has sold out and it sucks man!

They made me do it (5, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | about 6 months ago | (#47033505)

Just because there's some pressure from the outside to do immoral things, doesn't mean they had to cave in. Evil previls because good keeps silent. Sorry Mozilla, but that was a REALLY bad decision.

Re:They made me do it (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 6 months ago | (#47033579)

Netflix streaming is evil?

Re:They made me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033891)

Just go back to Google, Chrome and Android and find out how fast and hard you get fucked by them, fanbitch.

This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033525)

DRM is only wanted by the studios, which themselves push that requirement onto Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.

That means that we're going to have a future version of the Web, fragmented by the studios, pushing whatever OS they prefer versus another (kiss Linux good-bye).

All that because some idiots somewhere keeps thinking we need to use a fucking Web browser to watch content instead of dedicated programs or set-top boxes.

Re:This is stupid (2)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47033785)

Yes, but adding DRM to the web is actually driven by the distributors, such as Netflix. DRM movies can already be viewed using plugins or separate media players. Netflix want the EME so that they can delivery a rich[sic] experience, beyond just viewing a DRM movie, and the EME is not a compete DRM media player, just a part of it, allowing the distributors to complete the web media player using proprietary JS and lock users into using their web media players. They will likely be able to patent some of the proprietary media player implementation further damaging the open web. The EME that Mozilla have supported is driven by the distributors. Mozilla could have met the demands on the content owners without supporting the addition of DRM to the web, without supporting the EME.

Why doesn't Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033533)

Why doesn't Slashdot have SSL? Actually, it has, but that just redirects to plain http:/// [http] for me.

RMS is right. (4, Insightful)

DMJC (682799) | about 6 months ago | (#47033559)

RMS is right in this case, DRM just harms everyone. Now Linux might play some more videos, but everyone who wants to run Amiga or Haiku, or another platform will be shutout from accessing that content. This is why DRM is stupid, it keeps the vendor/platform lock in going. For no good reason. It has never stopped pirates from doing their thing.

Re:RMS is right. (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 6 months ago | (#47033629)

RMS is right in this case, DRM just harms everyone. Now Linux might play some more videos, but everyone who wants to run Amiga or Haiku, or another platform will be shutout from accessing that content. This is why DRM is stupid, it keeps the vendor/platform lock in going. For no good reason. It has never stopped pirates from doing their thing.

So DRM is bad because it stops people from accessing content, even though it's never actually done that? You've completely talked yourself into a circle.

Re:RMS is right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033729)

So DRM is bad because it stops people from accessing content, even though it's never actually done that? You've completely talked yourself into a circle.

It stops paying customers from using the content in certain legal ways or on certain devices, and yet doesn't achieve the supposed goal of preventing people from illegally using the content. Nothing circular about that.

Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firef (1)

danielpauldavis (1142767) | about 6 months ago | (#47033617)

Firefox usage #'s are down because that browser stopped being meaningfully independent like Chrome or Sea Monkey or Pale Moon are. The last time I used Firefox, I got pop-ups like a really good I.E. How 'bout they fix that problem instead of augment them?

Re:Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033639)

Have you heard about Adblock, good sir?

Re:Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033721)

I'm intrigued as to how Chrome is independent?

Should have added screen cap support into Firefox (2)

grumbel (592662) | about 6 months ago | (#47033633)

Bending over and adding DRM might not exaclty be a good thing, but I can see how it might be necessary if they want to stay relevant. Though I have to say they really should have waited with that until DRM actually becomes relevant to the Web, jumping on the DRM train this early is really sending the wrong signal. Anyway what they should have done it also just ship the anti-DRM messures right in the browser as well. Add a function to screen capture videos of your browser interaction isn't all that difficult and would have nicely shown just how pontless the whole DRM thing is.

Re:Should have added screen cap support into Firef (1)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47033745)

Exactly Mozilla could have added the EME but with extra features that save the content, thus demonstrating to the web community that it is open to innovation and not a space for land grabs, and not compatible with DRM. The contemporary web is open, without specialized DRM support, and free to innovation, and Mozilla's actions are compromising this, this is a very dark development. Mozilla's support for the EME is support for selfish corps making land grabs on what we can implement in our own web browsers and under the threat of persecution, and they have damaged the open web.

Re:Should have added screen cap support into Firef (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033827)

They are not legally allowed to do that as aren't allowed any Firefox forks, btw.

Re:Should have added screen cap support into Firef (1)

jimktaylor (3539053) | about 6 months ago | (#47034013)

This is the open web, it has always been open and free of DRM. If you come to this community you need to accept the contemporary design of the web. Mozilla are helping to kick in the wall in my house. Get out of my face Mozilla.

What a silly question. (5, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#47033691)

Of course they had a choice. That is not even a serious question.

They are losing market share and their actions will accelerate, not reverse, that trend, just as previous missteps have done. And yes, life will go on, but a great opportunity has been lost. Firefox still has enough users that this matters, and they are throwing their weight behind DRM, and against the open web they claim to stand for at a critical moment. The notion this will get anyone to switch (back) to Firefox is ludicrous. The ones that left because they wanted something more like the other browsers are happy with their other browser, and the rest of us see this is a stab in the back not a feature.

RIP Firefox Long Live PaleMoon.

Re:What a silly question. (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 6 months ago | (#47033947)

They are losing market share and their actions will accelerate, not reverse, that trend, just as previous missteps have done.

Ah yes... previous missteps.

.
The last straw, the item that chased me off FireFox was the developers' stupid decision to lock down the reload and stop buttons on the FireFox UI. Yes, I know there is a "Classic" add-on that attempts to restore the previous look and feel of the UI. But like many add-ons, the quality level of that add-on is much lower than that of FireFox. I ran into too many issues trying to get that add-on to work properly. During my attempts, various items in the UI would actually disappear, and I would have to restore the browser's profile directory and try again to configure the Classic add-on.

Yes, FireFox developers are chasing away their users.. Now I just need to figure out what to do with my "Take Back The Web" FireFox t-shirt. Ironically, it looks to be time to take back the web from FireFox.

I don't much care about NetFlix or the Content. (2)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 6 months ago | (#47033701)

I'm concerned that really, between having UEFI Boot forced on us, and now EME with FireFox, even Linux is losing the war against DRM and as such losing the war on Fair use computing rights entirely. I disgree that the Internet is becoming Cable 2.0, but, the issue is that really, this has escalated beyond a technology issue and into a law and society one. I don't see any real solution to this beyond massive changes at the governmental level. Like:

1. Repeal of the DMCA.
2. Copyright roolled back to 14 years as it was at first
3. No Software patents
4. Internet Providers declared common carrier utilities.

Of course they had a choice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033705)

But it has nothing to do with their business. Firefox has already been forked multiple times, mostly by people that can't put up with their garbage anymore. Firefox was supposed to have an advantage, coming from Netscape, they should have learned what happens to a company that "takes it to the next level".

Blown out of proportion (3, Insightful)

black_lbi (1107229) | about 6 months ago | (#47033769)

I think this whole situation has been blown out of proportion. How will this code, that allows loading a 3rd party DRM plugin, be conceptually different than the bit of code that allows loading other closed source plugins (Flash, Silverlight, etc)?

Re:Blown out of proportion (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 6 months ago | (#47033969)

I think this whole situation has been blown out of proportion....

Possibly. However, what is adding to the fire is string of stupid decisions made by the FireFox developers. Those stupid decisions are convincing users that FireFox may be going in the wrong direction. Hence the uproar.

Betteridges law of headlines (1)

allo (1728082) | about 6 months ago | (#47033787)

finally proven wrong?

Is Betteridges law of headlines still true today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47034063)

I think I broke it.

I Pick What To Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033859)

I have been using Firefox and Chrome in parallel for different purposes for quite some time. Most of the time, I just stick with Firefox because, beside its numerous extensions, I think I can put my trust on them. It is my first browser. At the same time, I keep Chrome for video and other Flash contents so that if I'm really interested in something which is only available in Flash or other formats which is not supported on Firefox, I'll simply fire up Chrome and copy-paste the URL.

Having that said, if Mozilla implements its DRM support in a way that I no longer feel secure using it, I'll have to reconsider my first choice of browser. And it is very likely to be anything but Firefox.

OF COURSE THEY HAD A CHOICE (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#47033923)

the notion that the Mozilla foundation "didn't have a choice" about DRM is an absolute joke

DRM is dead, in practice...all that DRM does is make users frustrated...it does *not* protect from illegal copying/distribution whatsoever

DRM is alive and well, in dumbass business porfolios, under the section of "risk management"

can Adobe or any organization *prevent* the Mozilla Foundation from releasing a non-DRM browser? NO!

no one is forcing Mozilla/Firefox to make this choice, except their own unscrupulous non-tech business people

Why Brendan Eich had to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47033961)

It looks rather like the failure of the Mozilla executives to defend CEO Eich from the Gay Mafia campaign being waged against him may have been at least in part due to the desire to remove a major obstacle to DRM being added to Firefox. Consider these three blog posts from three Mozilla figures, including Eich.

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-brendan-eich-had-to-go.html

Who cares? They already surrendered to Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47034007)

Seriously, FF has moved so far away from itself and toward Chrome that there's no point in having FF. If you want a browser that's like Chrome, get Chrome.

Compounding this is their surrender to the hypocritical bullies such as the heads of okcupid, who have a more anti-homosexual track record than the man they got fired.

I have only one thing that I use FF for now, and that's to download the NPAPI flash plugin. I'm about to start doing that from my pre-webkit version of Opera instead.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?