Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Feb 2014 22:20 UTC
Internet & Networking

Speaking with Wired editor David Rowan at an event launching the magazine's March issue, Tim Berners-Lee said that although part of this is about keeping an eye on for-profit internet monopolies such as search engines and social networks, the greatest danger is the emergence of a balkanised web.

"I want a web that's open, works internationally, works as well as possible and is not nation-based," Berners-Lee told the audience, which included Martha Lane Fox, Jake Davis (AKA Topiary) and Lily Cole. He suggested one example to the contrary: "What I don't want is a web where the Brazilian government has every social network's data stored on servers on Brazilian soil. That would make it so difficult to set one up."

A government never gives up a power it already has. The control it currently has over the web will not be relinquished.

Permalink for comment 582569
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[8]: Comment by shmerl
by anda_skoa on Fri 7th Feb 2014 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by shmerl"
anda_skoa
Member since:
2005-07-07

* It is better there is a proper specification that all browsers can implement properly.

That would be great, however, at least as it currently stands, this is not what we will be getting.

If there is no change we will get a situation similar to the "works on IE only" landscape a couple of years back.

I know that this sounds ridiculous, because nobody would ever want this to happen again, but due to lack of any form of interoperability in the currently discussed options, this is more fact than speculation.

One of the key points of the EME specification is that it neither specifies a single DRM solution nor does it say anything about reuse of any such solution between different browsers.

A website owner who decides to license, for example, Google's Widevine DRM system, will reach all users of Chrome and Android.
However, unless Google licenses Widevine to Microsoft or Apple, their browser or platforms will not be able to access the protected content.

The website owner is therefore faces with two choices:
1) also license Microsoft's PlayReady and Apple's FairPlay
2) Let users of either company's browser know that they have to switch to Chrome to see the content.

As lucas_maximums insightfully writes, he and other website developers really don't want to deal with multiple players and that part is true.
The website code will be able to use the same JavaScript code to facility key exchange between the browser's DRM module and the server.

Which understandably gets a lot of buy-in from said developers.

What they usually don't know due to the lack of open communication, is that the need to deal with multiple incompatible options has not gone away, it has merely be shifted.

The problem is now either that of the service provider, who has the choice of licensing multiple solutions or forego certain customer segments, or the service consumer, who has the choice of having and using multple browser and devices or not being able to use certain providers.

The irony of the whole situation is that "the ideal solution" for all involved parties existed prior to the arrival of the iOS devices: the universally hated Flash.
Providers only had to license one DRM, users had to install only one plugin that would work across all their browsers, web developers only (more or less) had to embed a single player.

Reply Parent Score: 3