Traditionally, web technology has been open. HTML markup, CSS, and JavaScript code can be viewed (though not necessarily easily understood, thanks to minification), remixed, and reused. The web’s openness allowed it to flourish.

But those selling costly content – software and media companies – prefer open wallets to anything goes. So they have employed copy deterrence schemes based on proprietary technologies like Adobe Flash and Wildvine to make high-value content viewable but not easily copyable in web browsers. However, this approach leaves much to be desired in terms of user experience and ongoing compatibility.

The Encrypted Media Extensions API – supported by companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Netflix and opposed by the free software community, academic researchers, and foes of anti-piracy mechanisms – provides a standards-based mechanism to display DRM-protected content in compliant web browsers.

Source: Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

The argument Tim Berners-Lee gives why he agreed to this (“If W3C did not recommend EME, then the browser vendors would just make it outside W3C,” he wrote. “…It is better for users for the DRM to be done through EME than other ways.”) is inane! If he doesn’t agree, then the vendors would all go around implementing different standards (as they historically and to the great annoyance of web designers everywhere have done) and DRM would only work on one type of browser. I thought by now we realised that DRM doesn’t work, is expensive in terms of money and resources and gets broken pretty much the day it leaves the factory.