Media files that contain DRM (Digital Rights Management) will soon become a regular part of web’s standards thanks to a decision by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
DRM is the technology that dictates exactly how you’re allowed to use a particular file. For instance, all songs sold through iTunes were previously DRM files that could only be played on Apple devices unless you figured out some sort of work around. DRM is also employed in some video games to prevent people from pirating and distributing the game. But for the most part, digital media sellers have realized over the years that DRM-free media sales actually improves business because it’s generally less of a hassle to the people actually spending money on digital content. However, the biggest supporter of DRM is Hollywood and entertainment lobbyist groups, who are hell-bent on using DRM as a way to differ piracy and maximize their profits.
And now, DRM is apparently coming to the universal HTML5 web standards agreed upon by the W3C. That means the previously open web standards will soon allow content creators and web developers to dictate exactly how you’re allowed to use content through your web browser. BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow actually hit the nail on the head with his observation that the W3C’s DRM plans will essentially mean your web browser will be able to “tell you no” when attempting to do something.
The move is specifically targeted at video content, and has the support of World Wide Web creator Tim” Berners-Lee, sadly.