The British Broadcasting Corporation has petitioned the W3C to implement DRM on HTML5 Video and eBooks. The W3C is the body responsible for for web based standards and has recently released a series of guidelines/standards for HTML5. The BBC is not happy with the ability for anyone to read a book or watch a video online and is demanding the W3C adopt Digital Rights Management for HTML5 content, before piracy starts to be a problem.
It is unknown if the W3C will comply with the BBC, but they have released a secret internal memo about it. The main premise the BBC is concerned about is region locking. Their gripe is that content has been licensed and tailored for the UK and should not be available outside that market. HTML5 Video and eBooks do not respect regional locking of content, and this is what they are mainly trying to accomplish.
The BBC is one of many companies lobbying the W3C. Recently, Google, Netflix, and Microsoft have all filed requests. The public API keys that are available do not really offer much security and are easily circumvented. Most DRM solutions that have been submitted to the W3c are not viable, however. One member of the organization commented, “In practice, no DRM system has survived for more than a couple of years.”
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.