Hollywood is using its influence at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to weave Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into HTML5 – in other words, into the very fabric of the Web. Millions of Internet users came together to defeat SOPA/PIPA, but now Big Media moguls are going through non-governmental channels to try to sneak digital restrictions into every interaction we have online. Giants like Netflix, Google, Godaddy, Microsoft, BBC, Facebook, Twitter and many the other (local) social network and media sites etc.. always rally behind such disastrous and monopolistic proposals, which this time flies in the face of the W3C’s mission to “lead the World Wide Web to its full potential.” People are increasingly becoming aware of the emerging ‘internet monopoly’ by the gangs of oligarchies.
The W3C has a duty to send the DRM peddlers and corporate lobbyists packing, just as the US courts did in the case of digital TV. There is no market for DRM, no public purpose served by granting a veto to unaccountable, shortsighted media giants who dream of a world where your mouse rings a cash-register with every click and disruption is something that happens to other people, not them.
There’s a new front in the battle against digital rights management (DRM) technologies. These technologies, which supposedly exist to enforce copyright, have never done anything to get creative people paid. Instead, by design or by accident, their real effect is to interfere with innovation, fair use, competition, interoperability, and our right to own things. We need your signature as much as ever. We’re hoping to have a deepening conversation with the W3C and the more concerned Web users supporting our position, the better. Sign the petition at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/no-drm-in-html5
The predators can dictate the use of their services in such a way that people lose control over their own information and their participation in these networks. Another element that worries the European Union, and countries such as China, India, Russia and Brazil in particular, is that all of these services are controlled from one country – the USA and its covert armies like NSA. Privacy laws in the United States are among the most relaxed in the world and commercial organisations there have the freedom to use personal information as described above. Though govt officials in India rarely wish to understand privacy, but most of India’s popular and highly advertised sites and portals are controlled or owned by desi NRIs shooting from US+, direct or via proxies while netas here are happy with development FDI & commissions.
Pressure is being put on international organisations (UN) to take a greater role in this, a move that is fiercely opposed by the USA. Organisations such as the OECD and UNESCO have also flagged these problems, calling for action before too much political pressure results in the imposition of severe restrictions – something that these organisations, plus many others, do not want.
But we are mostly people with some life experience and discipline, based on lessons learned over the years. The majority of the social network site users, however, are young people and rather naïve, and teenaged boys, in particular, are inclined to place information on the net that can easily be misused by others. Similarly teenaged girls can put unkind, sometimes vindictive, messages on these sites that they will probably regret if they read them five or ten years later.
With billions of people now using social networks and social media it is clear that these services are benefiting societies and economies around the world. However, now that more and more people are becoming familiar with them and beginning to understand how they work, concerns are being raised about privacy and governance. We have no doubt that unless permission-based concepts are introduced heavy-handed regulation will be implemented, and that will seriously affect the whole concept of the Internet.