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Encripted Media Extensions


It is a system to protect video content on the Internet that, however, concerns those who defend online security.
The Internet has a new video protection system, the EME (Encrypted Media Extensions).


Thus, as with physical media, a user can easily be prevented from copying a video that is protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management). It is a standard approved by the World Wide Web Consortium, the W3C, and is designed so that platforms like Netflix and other streaming services can protect their intellectual property without the need for the user to install anything on their computer, as it did a few years ago with Flash or Silverlight.


However, not everyone is satisfied with their nature or the implications of such a protection system. Several researchers who defend the open web suggest that this gives great power to developers of browsers and content providers Limiting access to researchers and students of content that may be crucial to them, as Cory Doctorow has dropped on the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) blog.


Although both the EFF and the W3C advocate a Open and accessible Internet that does not discriminate users, the point of disagreement is complicated. The first one does not want DRM and, in case of accepting it, it wants everything to be open as possible. However, the second considers that, since video protection by more restrictive methods is unavoidable, better to do with a standard than through plugins from third-party companies (such as Adobe Flash).


The development of this system DRM has not been simple and has taken more than five years. From the beginning, there were two opposing positions: those who wanted to defend intellectual property more vehemently and those who advocated keeping the web accessible and simple for users because, after all, the DRM always ends up being violated and the content exposed.


It is pointed out that such systems could complicate or prevent issues such as the creation of subtitles or screen captures, something that makes content more accessible or allows to work with it more easily. Another point, according to EFF, is that there is no standard to decode the EME, so that browsers could impose their criteria in this sense and greatly complicate the access to new browsers to the market.Tim Berners-Lee, creator of Internet; And Philippe Le Hégaret, project director at the W3C, have issued a note disagreeing with all the points criticized. They assure that the EME will allow greater accessibility as it is a standard to which everyone can ascribe and that eliminating the need for plugins in favor of a DRM system will make navigation easier.


The approval this past week of EME is a Step in the direction posed by the WWW Consortium, but the struggle is not yet over and critics continue to struggle, trying to modify key aspects of the standard. It's not clear how many changes can be made after approval, however, but all popular browsers today already work with it (Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer), just as do streaming services like Netflix , Which integrated it into its HTML5 player in 2015. In practice, the EME implementation has not imposed major changes to the way we consume content, but as pointed out by the EFF, this does not mean that the system is suitable and not Needs to be improved to avoid disadvantages in the future.