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Netflix Ditching Silverlight, Going For HTML5, But Only If DRM Present

Posted by: , 17:51 AEST, Mon April 22, 2013

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Netflix eager to ditch Microsoft's Silverlight in favor of a HTML5 native video solution, but only if a DRM extension is added to the HTML5 specs
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Image/Photo Credit: Defective By Design

Netflix is trying to move away from the reliance on Microsoft's Silverlight platform for its PC streaming product, hoping to utilize HTML5.

The advantages of using HTML5 would mean that PC subscribers of Netflix would no longer have to install a plug-in to play videos, as HTML5 support would be natively built-in to modern browsers.

The downside is that, in order to satisfy the Hollywood suits and their perhaps unfounded worries about video piracy via Netflix, the W3C, the consortium responsible for managing the HTML standard, would have to give in to Netflix's request to add DRM into the HTML5 standards.

And it's not just Netflix. Microsoft, Google, and even the BBC have all petitioned the W3C to DRM-ify HTML5.

While most consumers would probably welcome the move from Silverlight (or Flash) to HTML5, anti-DRM activists worry that by adding DRM to the core of HTML5 could see the creation of a DRM'd web. One activist group, Defective By Design, is already organizing a petition to tell W3C not to mess with HTML5, and so far more than 13,900 have already signed it.


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