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You are here: Home FSF News "Oscar" awarded to W3C for Best Supporting Role in "The Hollyweb"

"Oscar" awarded to W3C for Best Supporting Role in "The Hollyweb"

by Libby Reinish Contributions Published on May 03, 2013 03:54 PM
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Friday, May 3, 2013 -- Today, the Free Software Foundation's Defective by Design (www.defectivebydesign.org) campaign rolled out the red carpet and staged an impromptu awards ceremony during a petition delivery action outside of the W3C's offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The campaign's "DRM Elimination Crew" presented W3C with an award for "Best Supporting Role in "The Hollyweb" and delivered more than 22,500 verified signatures asking the organization not to weave Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into the fabric of the Web. The action was part of the 5th annual International Day Against DRM. Photos of today's event are available at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/oscar-awarded-w3c-in-the-hollyweb.

The petition (which is available to sign at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/no-drm-in-html5) calls on W3C to reject the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal (EME), which would incorporate support for DRM -- the systems used by media and technology companies to restrict watching, sharing, recording, and transforming digital works -- into HTML, the core language of the Web. As the petition explains, "EME would be an irreversible step backward for freedom on the Web. It would endorse and enable business models that unethically restrict users, and it would make subjugation to particular media companies a precondition for full Web citizenship. Just as Flash and Silverlight are finally dying off, we should not replace them with the media giants' latest control fantasy."

"This isn't the award we would like to be giving to W3C this week, as the Web celebrates its 20th anniversary. Ideally, we'd be hailing W3C for its role in protecting Internet freedom. While companies like Netflix, Microsoft, and Google (and their friends in Big Media) are really the stars of the Hollyweb, the W3C's supporting role has been crucial to this attempt to restrict the public's freedom. W3C still has time to do the right thing, but if they don't reject EME, they will be sanctioning the use of proprietary digital restrictions in every interaction we have online," said John Sullivan, executive director of the Free Software Foundation.

"The decision that W3C makes will influence millions of Internet users around the globe. The signatures delivered today represent the overwhelming public opinion that the EME proposal would be harmful to their online freedoms and to the overall health of the World Wide Web. We will continue to keep this proposal in the public eye and work to ensure that people everywhere have an opportunity to make their voices heard," said Libby Reinish, a campaigns manager at the Free Software Foundation.

Public opposition to the proposal is growing. Last week, W3C received a letter condemning the proposal from an international coalition of over 27 organizations, including the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its sister organizations FSF Europe, Latin America, and India; the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Creative Commons; Fight for the Future; Open Knowledge Foundation; Free Culture Foundation; April; Open Technology Institute; and several Pirate Party groups. The full text of this letter is visible at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/sign-on-against-drm-in-html.

Defective by Design encourages concerned Web users to sign the petition at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/no-drm-in-html5 and to participate directly in W3C's public process by joining their mailing list at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-comments.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to< promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Media Contacts

Libby Reinish
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 x30
libby.reinish@gmail.com

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Read the French translation of this press release by April.

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