Encrypted Media Extensions

· web
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Now that Season 3 of Rick and Morty has been completely aired, it’s time to start watching. I’m not a big fan of waiting a week between episodes, especially when the episodes are only 20 minutes long.

As of last night, all but the final episode of the season was available on Netflix and Ana has a subscription for this. This is the first time I’ve seen Netflix being used, so I didn’t know that the W3C Recommendedation “Encrypted Media Extensions” that upset the EFF enough for them to resign from the W3C has actually been in use by Netflix since April 2013 (growing platform support over time, not supporting all platforms immediately).

I was curious how much protection this scheme actually offers, I’ve discovered that it’s near zero. A virtual framebuffer combined with some Firefox automation could rip HD videos from Netflix all day. With all these benefits, it also inhibits accessibility and treats all paying customers as adversaries.

If you’d like to watch Rick and Morty without DRM, you can do so on the Adult Swim website. Later episodes seem to want a cable provider login, but I wonder if this restriction will go away after some time. (You’ll need a US IP address for this, but this is not particularly difficult.)

I’ve seen some looking at watermarking content. This looks like a win for everyone. You get to do whatever you want with the content yourself, convert it to accessible formats, play on any device, whatever. If you distribute it, it can be traced back to you. I can see watermarking putting a considerable dent into piracy and improving prosecution success rates, but for some reason this isn’t done in favour of running proprietary, unauditable (even attempts could be illegal) code on your machine to implement a failed protection scheme.

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