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Does this mean that we might finally see stuff like Netflix 'Play Instantly' on Linux? It'd be about time. I looks like flying monkeys might overtake Manhattan before Microsoft releases a Linux Silverlight port. Moonlight is a lost cause with that regard. I'll be watching this!
Android and Chrome OS are Linux, and I expect a number of set-top boxes are Linux under the hood too. It's really up to Google how easily they want to enable this DRM outside of official circles. Even if it's a binary blog, as long as it has the relevant interfaces, I'm sure a hacker could whip up a wrapper. On the other hand, Google are making Chrome browser for Linux, so it would be odd for that to exclude the same featureset as the Windows / Mac version.
Yes, many set-top boxes are Linux based, also many HD-TVs which will get Webapps and what not buildin (for example look at the Boxee Box also Linux based). Also the WebOS-based phones from Palm. Also, most use WebKit 'browser'-engine. Many different versions and capabilities, but all the same basic engine nonetheless.
Concerning this step by Google I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, I guess we'll have to see.
The question is, if Google will provide this DRM-blob for many platforms and browsers or even open source it like WebM.
Currently some are Silverlight and others are flash or some specific plugin (rare ?) and if we can get rid of that with just a normal video-tag. That would be really cool. But how something like that would received by Mozilla I don't know.
I wonder what Netflix will eventually do, if they've already build everything else in HTML5:
My guess is, they will start with content for Google TV and start from their.
I should add, Webkit should not become the new IE-only-like-world.
I think it was amazing if webkit was the only engine, especially since there are multiple vendors using it.
My first post was going to be "so, does this mean they'll make it easy for Netflix to accept a *nix native client?"
I see that idea has already been considered.
Specific to Netflix; the choice to lack *nix support remains theirs. Tivo is a Linux based box as is the Wii (I think) and the PS3 is definitely a Linux based underside; all have Netflix players readily available.
It's never been a technological problem. They had DRM'd netflix stuff on *nix devices long ago. It's simply a political choice not to make a native player for the unblessed non-embedded distributions.
Now, my understanding is that Netflix uses Silverlight DRM and front end coding. They've had a ton of developers offering to help implement the DRM within Moonlight for general use across distributions. Either netflix continues to ignore that there are any paying customers not using Windows or Microsoft has blessed the DRM on specific embedded *nix builds but won't allow it for general consumption. I'll let the conspiracy folk decide which.
If the DRM netflix is using is what Google just purchased then it would be very interesting indeed if they relicensed it. Heck, it could become one of the most effective DRM frameworks if the security nerds are allowed to dig into it and submit improvements.
The playstation CAN run Linux, but I don't think it does with the 'default install'. The Wii isn't either as far as I know.
I have a similar theory. I think Google might make a plugin for their DRM technology and bundle it with Chrome and start using it on their Youtube Store and TV Shows. In order to reduce their dependence on Flash for the same thing.
So when they inevitably roll out their HTML5 version of Youtube they wouldn't be without all the licensed content they've been providing.
But it could just be that Widevine has a relationship with Big Content and Google wants in on that. (So they won't be blocked by them) Edited 2010-12-05 23:31 UTC
I used to make a big deal about DRM, but honestly, I stopped caring quite a while ago.
I decided to just boycott all non-easily circumventable DRM (e.g. all but DVDs). And I found that I didn't miss anything. 90% of big content is junk, and the rest is still really just not worth the time.
Maybe some people are different, but if I have half an hour of free time, there are plenty of things that I can do that I will enjoy a heck of a lot more than watching a TV show. For example: ride a bike, read a book, study a foreign language, go for a run, talk to people, write a poem, sleep , or play a game. I found that I am not bored or unhappy nearly as much as I was before.
I guess this might seem to be a bit of an overreaction to something as simple as one company buying another, but I just think that people in general spend way too much time passively absorbing popular entertainment, and not enough time doing the things that actually make them happy. It's not like watching TV shows is something that we have to do, like work or school.
I agree with you wholeheartedly -- except House, that's thoughtful entertainment.
That's is the problem: even you practice a balanced, healthful, enlightening lifestyle, TV is such a ubiquitous medium you're missing out on something good. If there's another show like Cosmos, I'd like my (hypothetical) kids to see it and then go to school and talk about it with their friends.
Imagine "secure delivery" in the form of traditional mail services. It would probably be something like, you get the envelope out of the mailbox and take it inside. Then when you open it, it blows up in your face. Boom! Secure delivery! Now you are dead and the information is destroyed--so no one knows any top-secret information.
Seriously... f*** DRM. Google loses even more respect in my eyes for this, but I really kind of seen it coming. It's quickly getting to the point that I want a different search engine, but the other major alternative is Microso--er, Bing. I have yet to hear of one as good as Google/Bing and when I do, it will only be a matter of time before their interests start conflicting with mine, then yet another engine will be needed. An annoying cycle.
DRM itself is not good or evil; it just is. The problem is how many choose to implement a DRM framework.
I wouldn't call Google evil for buying a DRM framework. Let's wait and see what they do with it. Maybe what they do will actually gain you some respect for them similar to releasing WebM relicensed.
Of course, if they do use the new purchase to limit end user rights then I'm right with you and the pitchforks.
"if they do use the new purchase to limit end user rights then I'm right with you and the pitchforks."
I’ve not known a DRM scheme that opens rights that weren’t there before by default. Isn’t the purpose of DRM to limit end user rights? What else will Google do with DRM, _other_ than limit rights? It boils down to how rude they are going to be about implementing it. They could shun desktop Linux and cause a ruckus, or embrace it and please Linux users by making Netflix and the like available.
If Google relicensed the source, we may end up with a well designed DRM scheme not limited to a particular OS. As much as I hate the purpose of DRM, I'm more restricted by not having the framework in place to access content. Maybe this could grow to be a competitor the big content recognizes; those "digital copies" that all the BR/DVD bundles now include would be great accept for the current DRM not supporting my OS.
DRM limiting what I can do within fair-use sucks. Lack of support for DRM limiting any use sucks more.
You suggest that the only outcome of open source DRM would be "defeated easily"? DRM is an end user hostile implementation of encryption. Encryption is not considered strong without transparency and peer review; "should be secure with everything known except the key" or "the enemy knows the system" for a shortened re-wording.
Given how FOSS has tackled past encryption (SSH, Truecrypt..), there is potential to deliver a well designed cross platform DRM framework which does not rely on obscurity of the mechanism.
My comment was in reply to this particular thought from UBZ:
Besides, that would probably be unlikely if not impossible, because if it's open it could probably be defeated easily. Not that it's not already, you know, easy enough for someone who wants to strip or bypass DRM to accomplish this task with all the closed options that exist today...
Suggesting that because the mechanism (source coded method) is "open", it must therefore be defeated easily. My thought is that because the DRM mechanism would be open source, it would stand a chance to mature into a very solid DRM framework.
With your point I agree though because it addresses the inherent weakness of all DRM; it runs on the user's system and at some point must present cleartext.
Music; stereo out to stereo line in; done.
Video; tap the video cable if pre-hdmi; done.
DVD; wrap the viewer display in a sniffer; done.
In the same way, I don't think a closed source video driver would be required; again, it's about a mechanism that remains secure even though the source is readily available. If the system relies on obscurity like a closed binary blob then it may as well be a ROT13 module.
I do get the political angle. FOSS is about enabling the end user. When I have to reboot to Windows or leave my machine to fetch the Apple; I'm not feeling very enabled. When I can get the video file on one of those "blessed" platforms but still can't copy it to my NAS to feed the TV; I'm not feeling very enabled. When Netflix can't support a client for general purpose *nix because Microsoft refuses to license it's DRM to the "unblessed".. I'm not feeling very enabled.
I'm also very curious to see what kind of DRM framework comes out of FOSS and Cryptography development values. It's the security nerd in me; OpenSSH is pretty solid because of the development method.
Doesn't the Linux kernel use DRM for code signing? That kind of demonstrates that it's about how it's used more than being evil in and of itself.
(And me suggesting the use of DRM let along improved and effective DRM.. now that's just all kinds of world turned up side down. Maybe it's having kids not yet old enough for the "content creation rights" talk.)
Why do people hate DRM so much? The originators of the material have a RIGHT to control how their content is distributed. The only genuine reason to complain is because it makes it harder to steal content, hardly a valid reason to be angry. Instead of complaining, people ought to work closer to ensure DRM is available on all platforms as currently most Linux distros don't ship anything for accessing this material legally.
That being said, I don't think DRM should require any license in and of itself. It should only be used to ensure people have paid fair price for other material. That way, open source projects could still empower their users to not be left behind in content.