Microsoft, Google, and Netflix want DRM decryption tools in HTML5

Of course the powers that be want a way to ensure that HTML 5 has appropriate controls to decrypt licenses for online video. Microsoft, Google, and Netflix have teamed up to draft a proposal for the W3C that includes concepts for Encrypted Media Extensions in HTML 5.

From the W3C draft proposal abstract:

This proposal extends HTMLMediaElement to enable playback of protected content. The proposed API supports use cases ranging from simple clear key decryption to high value video (given an appropriate user agent implementation). License/key exchange is controlled by the application, facilitating the development of robust playback applications supporting a range of content decryption and protection technologies. No “DRM” is added to the HTML5 specification, and only simple clear key decryption is required as a common baseline.

It’s inevitable, I guess. Content creators want to make sure people aren’t out there stealing quality content from HTML 5 media elements around the Internet. Using a key system, websites would be able to use plain-text, unencrypted keys to decrypt source video, without any other client-side content protection needed. Key rotation would be supported, along with heartbeat modes that would receive an “explicit heartbeat message from a server on a regular basis” to unlock encrypted video feeds.

As always, this is just a proposal, so it’s unlikely that we would see anything in the near future. That being said, it’s interesting to see that three massive media companies, including companies that are responsible for two major browsers (Chrome and Internet Explorer) are looking for ways to continue to support DRM in HTML5.

Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio