A small artist-led group called Ethics in Tech held a small demo on Saturday in Cambridge Massachusetts. The demonstrators met at Cambridge City Hall Lawn at 2 PM and marched to Tim Berners-Lee’s office in an attempt to sway the web creator’s decision on ratifying the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) draft technical standard.
If EME becomes a web standard, companies such as Netflix, Apple, Google, and Microsoft would be able to more cheaply and easily deploy “massive” DRM systems across browsers and devices according to Defective by Design, but would mean users wouldn’t need any additional software to access the DRM protected content.
Until now, Defective by Design, has been urging people to call Berners-Lee or to get him to back down on the decision, now Ethics in Tech hopes the march – which was around 20 people strong – has put more pressure on him.
The Encrypted Media Extensions interface has been implemented on all major browsers including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Microsoft Edge, as of 2016. Mozilla was hesitant to implement the protocol citing ethical reasons due to its dependency on proprietary code. It loads the DRM modules in an open-source sandbox which has been specially designed to hamper the DRM’s ability to track and identify devices.