Writing last week about the value of having data, I found myself touching once again on the wisdom of using DRM as a defense against piracy. Of course, this debate extends well beyond book publishing.
Earlier this month, the HTML Working Group of the W3C decided to release a "First Public Working Draft" of a specification for what it calls an encrypted media extension (EME). Jeff Jaffe, CEO of the W3C, refers to EME as "content protection", while its opponents call it DRM.
The W3C announcement was made on its own blog, and it includes an extensive debate about the merits of pursuing an EME specification. The discussion is direct and often detailed, with many commenters challenging the W3C's decision and questioning whether the organization is defending use of the web or legacy business models.
For his part, Jaffe responds to a great many comments, explaining the W3C position and on occasion clarifying his own blog post. While I tend to favor the points of view expressed by those critical of the decision to release the EME specification, the dialogue suggests that the web will continue to evolve in ways that fully please very few participants.