[FSFE PR][EN] Open Letter to European Commission: Stop DRM in HTML5

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Tue May 6 09:47:10 CEST 2014

 = Open Letter to European Commission: Stop DRM in HTML5 =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2014/news-20140506-01.en.html ]

On today's "Day against DRM"[1], the Free Software Foundation Europe
(FSFE) has sent an open letter to the European Commission, asking the EC
to prevent Digital Restrictions Management technology from being closely
integrated with the HTML5 standard.[2].

FSFE is concerned about efforts currently in progress at the World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C), to encourage the integration of Digital
Restriction Management (DRM) technology into web browsers. The W3C
oversees many of the key standards on which the World Wide Web is based.

A W3C working group is currently standardising an "Encrypted Media
Extension" (EME), which will allow companies to easily plug in non-free
"Content Decryption Modules" (CDM) with DRM functionality, taking away
users' control over their own computers. Most DRM technologies impose
restrictions on users that go far beyond what copyright and consumers'
rights allow.

    "Integrating DRM facilities into HTML5 is the antithesis of
    everything that has made the Internet and the World Wide Web
    successful," says FSFE's President Karsten Gerloff. "It is directly
    contrary to the interests of the vast majority of Internet users

Auditing the DRM modules will be both difficult and illegal. Their
source code will be a closely held secret of the company which
distributes the module. Performing an audit and reporting security flaws
would also be illegal in the many countries which have adopted so-called
"anti-circumvention" laws. Reporting a security problem in the DRM
module would expose the reporter to the risk of lawsuits from the makers
of that module.

FSFE asks the European Commission to:

- Engage with the W3C and ensure that the organisation takes these
  concerns on board as it decides on the adoption of the Encrypted Media
  Extension (EME).

- Pledge not to make use of the Encrypted Media Extension in its own
  infrastructure, even if EME were to be standardised by W3C.

- Protect people and companies from prosecution who reverse-engineer DRM
  technology and report vulnerabilities.

 1. http://dayagainstdrm.org/
 2. https://fsfe.org/activities/drm/open-letter-ec-drm-html.en.html

== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
  Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
  of the FSFE.


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