For months, I’ve been following the story that the Mozilla project was set to add closed source Digital Rights Management technology to its free/open browser Firefox, and today they’ve made the announcement, which I’ve covered in depth for The Guardian. Mozilla made the decision out of fear that the organization would haemorrhage users and become irrelevant if it couldn’t support Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video, and other services that only work in browsers that treat their users as untrustable adversaries.
Mozilla will upgrade its Firefox browser with copyright protection technology, fearing a loss of users if they can’t play protected content from services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. The organization has long opposed DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies, which seek to prevent unauthorized sharing of content under copyright protection. Critics say DRM also prevents legal uses of content, such as a person moving it between two of their own devices. “While we would much prefer a world and a Web without DRM, our users need it to access the content they want,” wrote Andreas Gal, CTO and vice president of mobile for Mozilla, in a blog post Wednesday. The DRM specification, called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), will first be implemented in the desktop version of Firefox, Gal wrote. He didn’t give a timeline. Google and Microsoft support EME, and major content providers also endorse it, he wrote.