While perusing hacker news I came upon this blog post BBC Attacks the Open Web. In a quick summary, the web was created with open ideals, HTML is the leading example. Companies, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and the BBC, who have publicly stated similar goals along the lines of promoting of creativity and the sharing of information are attacking their own ideals in search of profits. The BBC in 2010 tried to support DRM for their online HD broadcasts because the license-holders of the content threatened to disallow BBC from using their content. So they are not entirely to blame. Their full submission can be seen here.
I think this relates directly with our classroom discussions. This API, Encrypted Media Extensions, would allow web content to be distributed in a controlled manner. As we have discussed, creators need to be rewarded for their creations, but in order to continue improving, access to this material needs to be relatively unrestricted. As we also discussed, DRM does not expire. Even the ludicrous American copyright law, expiration 75 years after death, does mean there’s an eventual end to the restrictions.
What would this mean for the future of the web? If content could be easily encrypted and people had to start paying for the majority of internet content, I think it could get really ugly. I know I would be out of a job if I couldn’t find free quality content with a quick Google search. If I had to pay for most everything on the web I would never make any money.
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