‘Content Industry’ set to privatize net infrastructure: digital rights management in html-5

It seems that the internet as we knew it is about to pass away, giving way to a much more controlled environment where websites can code what can and what can’t be done with so-called ‘content’, which becomes something akin to a controlled substance.

David Bollier in his recent article

The Piecemeal Privatization of Web Infrastructure

relates how the governing entity for the web, the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C, is working on standards that will incorporate Digital Rights Management (DRM) right in the guts of the internet’s language. HTML-5, the next version of the language that displays websites and other things on the net, will be armed … with DRM.

The truly dismaying news is that the official steward of technical standards for the Web – the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C – plans to adopt a new set of standards, HTML5, that will let content owners add digital rights management, or DRM, to their web content. As Cory Doctorow writes on BoingBoing, “the decision to go forward with the project of standardizing DRM for the Web came from Tim Berners-Lee himself [who invented the Web in the early 1990s], who seems to have bought into the lie that Hollywood will abandon the Web and move somewhere else (AOL?) if they don’t get to redesign the open Internet to suit their latest profit-maximization scheme.”


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