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What the heck W3C? I don't want DRM!

Added over 3 years ago | As appeared first on O'Reilly Programming | Author: Simon St. Laurent

....The saddest part of that discussion, however, is the question. What are we users—and what is the W3C—getting from building the risk of programmers being jailed into the core infrastructure of the Web? I have no doubt that browser vendors eager to cut deals will incorporate DRM into their offerings. Does that make it a good idea for the W3C to offer its name, its facilities, its intellectual property agreements, and its umbrella from antitrust prosecution to such a project? Why not leave the companies to pursue their own directions, and take on the risk of legal action themselves?

I’m left, however, with Berners-Lee’s failure to answer his own question, and his strange expectation that users can “ask” for something in return and hope to see it. I have too many memories of decade-old conversations with Microsoft employees after they had, for a time, won the Browser Wars. It was clear that the users I cared about, whether developers or individuals who just couldn’t make things work, were not the users they cared about. Our roles was just to create an ecosystem in which Microsoft could make a lot of money. (Microsoft is far from alone in that view—I only single them out for that past history.)..

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