Years ago, DRM was finally kicked out
of the digital music scene. And consumers rejoiced heartily. But DRM is still a major, major factor across the entire spectrum of digital content -- be it UltraViolet for movies, or DRM filters embedded onto Blu-ray Discs, and most things in between. Now, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is responsible for coming together and putting forth Web standards, has published a draft for Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). What's that, you ask? It's a structure that'll allow DRM content to be displayed in the browser, without plug-ins like Flash or Silverlight being required. In other words, it's a major step forward. Yes, DRM is still there, but this could allow it to be viewed more freely, particularly on devices like Chromebooks.
Naturally, there will be a fair amount of support and dissent when it comes to EME. Many will say that EME undermines the nature of the free and open Web, but those who realize that HTML5 is the future of content delivery may be more willing to give it a chance. Reportedly, major companies such as Netflix, Microsoft and Google are already developing around this
. All of those players wish to be able to deliver content without a plug-in, and this seems like a solid solution that has the chance to be broadly adopted.
When will we see EME making its way into products? That's hard to say. This is just a draft, after all, but we'd expect to hear more about its progress over the next 6-12 months.