MPAA Joins W3C to Help Standardize Video Copy Protection

In an effort to join the official conversation on how to come up with a solution for copy protection of videos on the Web, the Motion Picture Association of America has joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which makes official decisions on Web standards like HTML. A new HTML component allows websites to host video directly on their sites instead of having to use a video tag, which doesn’t enable copy protection. Some, however, don’t care for the new approach.

MPAA SVP for Internet Technology Alex Deacon tweeted: “Just met with W3C CEO Jeffrey Jaffe. We’re excited to join W3C and look forward to listening, learning and contributing.” According to CNET, Deacon was at CES when he tweeted the news.

“The MPAA’s arrival is timely, given its years of effort to prevent unauthorized video copying,” the article says. The new component of HTML that provides copy protection is called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), and it was a team effort by Microsoft, Google and Netflix. But some, like Mozilla’s chief technology officer Brendan Eich, aren’t fans of EME.

CNET cites a blog post from Eich explaining “why we view DRM [digital rights management] as bad for users, open source, and alternative browser vendors,” pointing to legal restraints against fair use, difficulties in “implement[ing] a robust and Hollywood-compliant CDM black box inside the EME API container using open source software,” and problematic differences between browsers and operating systems.

“Eich called for other approaches, such as watermarking video, which means adding invisible data to files so copyright infringers could be tracked down more easily,” CNET reports. Eich said telling users that they can’t have access to streaming movies is “a good way to lose market share.