HTML5 DRM hubbub
There's quite a bit of angst on the internet about Digital Rights Management functionality in the HTML5 specification:
I think some of the outrage could have been avoided with a different sales pitch...
Wouldn't it be nice to have a web-standard, secure content pipe between you and your users?
Content producers could narrow-cast directly to audience members. Content middle-men would be cut out of the loop. You wouldn't need to depend on YouTube, Vimeo, or iTunes (for podcasts). Comments below your video would come from interested, paying customers instead of internet trolls.
Of course, those hosted content options still exist for people who can't be bothered to host their own media or don't want to pay for the bandwidth. This seems like an opportunity for independent info-products and content producers.
Okay, maybe it's not a good thing for this spec to pushed by "big content" movie studios, but they're going to implement DRM somehow anyway. They already have Flash and Silverlight "solutions". I can only hope that a browser-implemented DRM scheme would cause fewer software crashes. The security patching cycle would probably also improve if it didn't fall on a single company to update a giant, crufty code-base. Does Microsoft even still officially support Silverlight?
Similarly, people are afraid of UEFI/secure-boot. There is much confusion about the secure-boot process and Microsoft's implementation (and de-facto role as gatekeeper). People should be worried about the potential loss of the ability to install another operating system on their hardware (the FSF calls this "restricted boot"), but being able to sign and validate all code loaded during the boot process benefits all platforms.
Just like most powerful and flexible technologies, it can be used for good or evil; privacy or oppression. We shouldn't blame the tech.
Now, is everyone still angry?
Hopefully this article with good perspective still applies. According to Big Web Show, episode 109, Brendan Eich working on watermarking tech that might be more useful than DRM. Maybe we'll end up with a more enlightened technical implementation after all. It would be fun to see the entrenched content distributors cling to Silverlight while all the web angels migrate to something simpler.