(credit: Bart Maguire) The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the industry body that oversees development of many Web-related technologies, is again considering the development of a specification enabling DRM-protected media in HTML content.

And the group working on Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) is running up against a deadline: the group’s charter expires at the end of April. W3C working groups can only publish specifications with an active charter.
So if W3C wants to publish a DRM specification, either the EME proposal must be published as a standard before the end of April or the group’s charter must be extended.

Last year, the working group asked for such an extension, but the Advisory Committee could not come to any consensus on whether to grant it. W3C director and inventor of the Web Tim Berners-Lee last week voiced his support for the EME plan, but the future of EME and the working group’s efforts are currently in limbo. Many of the arguments being made today mirror those made in 2013 when the working group first set about developing EME.

And in light of this pending decision, we’re resurfacing the op-ed below (from May 2013) that outlines the supporting view.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the group that orchestrates the development of Web standards, has today published a Working Draft for Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a framework that will allow the delivery of DRM-protected media through the browser without the use of plugins such as Flash or Silverlight.
EME does not specify any DRM scheme per se. Rather, it defines a set of APIs that allow JavaScript and HTML to interact with decryption/protection modules.

These modules will tend to be platform-specific in one way or another and will contain the core DRM technology.
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