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Google, Microsoft, Netflix: We Want To Add DRM To HTML5

Posted by: , 13:25 AEDT, Wed February 29, 2012

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Google, Microsoft and Netflix proposes adding DRM to HTML5 video streaming standards

Google, Microsoft and Netflix have proposed changes to the HTML5 standard that could see DRM added to HTML5 videos. 

In a document titled "Encrypted Media Extensions v0.1", which was submitted to W3C's HTML Working Group, the group responsible for handling HTML5 standards, the web giants called for DRM to be added to HTML5 streaming videos, in the same way DRM is available for Flash videos.

HTML5's media element has often been portrayed as an official alternative to Flash, which requires browser based plug-ins in order for videos to work. HTML5 videos, on the other hand, would be natively supported by the browser without the need to install any additional software (at least theoretically, although a major disagreement over the choice of video codec is causing fragmentation amongst HTML5 compatible browsers).

But the proposal is unlikely to be accepted, with a key personnel involved in the standardisation already calling the proposal "unethical". Even some Google employees are uncertain about the proposal, with a post in a mailing list by a Google Chrome team member warning that open source browsers would not be able to implement any DRM add-ons to HTML5, as they would need to reveal their source code, which would reveal all that's needed to crack the DRM.

While most admit that most DRM schemes will ultimately be cracked, Hollywood studios still require platforms to implement DRM before they are even open to discussions about releasing content on said platform.


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