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Thread: Pipelight: A Way To Get Netflix On Linux

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    Firstly, you don't believe in piracy? Fine, but you should know that DRM does nothing to deter piracy - it encourages it. If the entertainment really wants to get rid of "piracy", they should provide a service that is competitive with it. Crippling your product with DRM is not a way to do that. And what cause is that that you think it doesn't help? Some call it piracy, some call it free sharing.
    I never said DRM did deter piracy but try telling the MPAA that. They have inflicted this on us, not Netflix and the like. I'm sure those sites know all too well how ineffective DRM is. And the "cause" I was referring to was the effort to convince the decision makers that those calling for cross-platform DRM-free playback aren't just a bunch of freeloaders.

    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    Secondly, with a binary blob in HTML5 - you cannot know what it does. It might just be decryption, or it might be doing whatever and you can't inspect it because it's a black box sent to your computer by the entertainment industry. But don't worry, it's not like they'd ever do anything malicious in the name of "copy protection", such as install rootkits on your computer. Oh wait... they already did that? Well, it's not like they'd do it... again... I guess...
    Of course I understand that. Like all proprietary software, it's a calculated risk. At least we're not on Windows where the whole damn system is potentially a rootkit.

    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    Thirdly, EME - ie. binary blobs in HTML5 - is in no way an improvement to silverlight/flash. We'll just be effectively exchanging 2 proprietary web plugins to a zillion proprietary web plugins, and you can guess how many of those will truly be platform-independent - zero. They're binary blobs, so they have to be made OS- and architecture-specific. Most will probably just run on windows, mac os, and maybe android/ios if they care about mobile.
    I was under the impression that the idea was to have some kind of unified framework under which these things could work, not to have a completely separate implementation for every site and service. If it were the latter then I agree, it would suck.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewi View Post
    I never said DRM did deter piracy but try telling the MPAA that. They have inflicted this on us, not Netflix and the like. I'm sure those sites know all too well how ineffective DRM is. And the "cause" I was referring to was the effort to convince the decision makers that those calling for cross-platform DRM-free playback aren't just a bunch of freeloaders.
    You have the choice to use it or avoid it, when you produce content, so saying Netflix didn't inflict it on us is a plain lie. The fact they didn't design it says nothing about their choice on imposing this. I do recognize they are just trying to protect their business (and I think it's valid in the case of Netflix, where there are original content to fund, opposed to share TV series which are already funded by the time they are on TV).

  3. #23
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    It doesn't work with lovefilm.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewi View Post
    I'd like to use this for Blinkbox, and possibly Lovefilm, though I currently only use the latter for DVDs and Blu-rays in the mail. If Netflix makes HTML5 work then I expect these two will follow suit but that may be some way off yet. I don't blame any of them for using Silverlight. With their only real choices being shut down or suck it up, their hands were effectively tied. While I dislike DRM, I don't believe in piracy either, and piracy doesn't exactly help our cause. If it means HTML5 with a binary blob, so be it. I dislike binary blobs too but if it's only to decrypt movies, as opposed to doing something critical like driving a graphics card, I can live with that.
    So you used all those services through Wine before, I assume? Or do you have a Windows installation for that?

  5. #25
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    Here's a novel concept:

    How about not giving money to the people who are actively working on DRM to stop you watching things on the platform you use, who actively lobby for stronger enforcement and longer copyright terms, who are demanding DRM be made a part of html standards and so on and so forth. At the very least get this stuff on DVD or Blu-ray second hand if you can.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    So you used all those services through Wine before, I assume? Or do you have a Windows installation for that?
    As I said, I currently only use Lovefilm through the mail. If I had an online subscription, I could use the Wii. I only used Blinkbox once and for that, I booted into my Windows 8 on my wife's laptop. She normally uses openSUSE. I like Blinkbox because it is PAYG rather than subscription-based but they don't have a Wii app. I do have an Xbox 360 too but you need a Gold subscription for both services (and Netflix?) and that pisses me off. Why do you have to pay for one service just to access another completely unrelated paid service? I used to have a Gold subscription but I don't have time for console games these days.

    By the way, I almost got it working. The test page works and Blinkbox got as far as authenticating before it bombed out with an error. This was using Silverlight 5.1. I note that the "netflix-desktop" package has scripts that set up Silverlight 4 for Lovefilm so maybe it's worth giving that version a try.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModplanMan View Post
    Here's a novel concept:

    How about not giving money to the people who are actively working on DRM to stop you watching things on the platform you use, who actively lobby for stronger enforcement and longer copyright terms, who are demanding DRM be made a part of html standards and so on and so forth. At the very least get this stuff on DVD or Blu-ray second hand if you can.
    because the tiny minority doesn't matter, the same reason windows still has a majority market share

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewi View Post
    I never said DRM did deter piracy but try telling the MPAA that. They have inflicted this on us, not Netflix and the like. I'm sure those sites know all too well how ineffective DRM is. And the "cause" I was referring to was the effort to convince the decision makers that those calling for cross-platform DRM-free playback aren't just a bunch of freeloaders.
    Netflix is however implementing platform-dependent DRM in the form of Silverlight, and what's worse, they are lobbying to get even worse DRM-systems included in to web standards - bye bye net neutrality, bye bye platform independence of the internet. This means that we should not support Netflix and get our entertainment elsewhere. The hollywood needs the internet more than the internet needs hollywood, if we stop giving money to services that implement DRM, and convince others to do the same, they will lose profits and will be forced to consider other options.

    Of course this may be an unrealistic goal, as majority of people don't really care and happily sign away any and all of their rights in exchange for some hollywood drama. But it's at least a good reason to get your entertainment elsewhere than from Netflix. At least I can say that my money doesn't go towards supporting DRM-schemes.

    Of course I understand that. Like all proprietary software, it's a calculated risk. At least we're not on Windows where the whole damn system is potentially a rootkit.
    It doesn't matter if you're on windows or not, if you run unsafe, unknown black-box code, it really doesn't matter which OS it's ran on. Do you think just because you run Linux you're immune to malware? That's incorrect. There's plenty of damage a malware can do even without root permissions.

    But DRM is a bit more than just any regular proprietary software. DRM is inherently designed to work against the user, to deny user freedom. If the software is designed not to trust the user, how could the user trust the software?

    I was under the impression that the idea was to have some kind of unified framework under which these things could work, not to have a completely separate implementation for every site and service. If it were the latter then I agree, it would suck.
    Then you have bought the PR and propaganda the EME-proponents are spreading - they're apparently trying very, very hard to sweep under the rug the actual technical details of the monstrosity they are trying to attach into HTML5. Basically, EME is nothing but a common, standard way for webpages to upload arbitrary plugins on-the-fly to your browser, which your browser then executes. These plugins (although the proponents don't like to call them "plugins", because it doesn't suit their agenda) are invariably binary blobs, which can have direct access to your system, and in the case of DRM they are invariably closed-source - since the whole concept of DRM is incompatiblle with user freedom or transparency. DRM is software that works against the user.

    Now, think about this for a while. There will be no "unified framework" as such, it's just a way for webpages to execute arbitrary code on the user's computer. This is not only a huge security risk (think sketchy webpages, porn and such, that upload blobs on your computer... and before you know it, you're part of a botnet), but it's inherently platform-dependent: since these are all binary blobs, a blob designed for x86/windows cannot run on ARM/Linux or even x86/Linux. The blobs might even be browser-dependent, where a blob designed to run on IE won't run on Firefox or Chrome (they might not want their DRM-blobs to run on an open-source browser).

    So the proponents of EME are being doubly dishonest: they are claiming that this is somehow an improvement against the current situation, where we have to deal with two proprietary plugins (Flash, Silverlight) which it isn't - clearly, having a zillion proprietary, platform-dependent plugins that get loaded on your browser on-the-fly is no improvement to the situation, but to the contrary. They try to sell it to the public as "getting rid of browser plugins" while omitting the fact that we'd be replacing them with new browser plugins instead. What really is attractive to the proponents about EME is the fact that the specification doesn't specify any set DRM scheme - they will be able to update and change the plugins every time old DRM schemes get broken, as they so often are.

    The thing is, if we let this DRM thing escalate in this way, where the content producers are demanding for stricter and more "robust" (ie. hard to break) DRM schemes, pretty soon it will get to the point where there will be DRM in not just the content, but the OS and hardware as well. Think microsoft's "trusted computing" scheme: where the entire OS will monitor you, and prevent you from doing things that goes against the interests of rightsholders. If you try to make copies of a file or use a screen-recorder, the computer will just say "I can't let you do that, Dave" and possibly inform the authorities. Of course this means that DRM'd content won't be available on platforms that refuse to implement such perverse schemes, such as any open source system, because open source inherently allows user freedom and that isn't compatible with DRM.

    That is the future you sign up for when you support DRM, or companies that use it.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    Now, think about this for a while. There will be no "unified framework" as such, it's just a way for webpages to execute arbitrary code on the user's computer. This is not only a huge security risk (think sketchy webpages, porn and such, that upload blobs on your computer... and before you know it, you're part of a botnet), but it's inherently platform-dependent: since these are all binary blobs, a blob designed for x86/windows cannot run on ARM/Linux or even x86/Linux. The blobs might even be browser-dependent, where a blob designed to run on IE won't run on Firefox or Chrome (they might not want their DRM-blobs to run on an open-source browser).

    So the proponents of EME are being doubly dishonest: they are claiming that this is somehow an improvement against the current situation, where we have to deal with two proprietary plugins (Flash, Silverlight) which it isn't - clearly, having a zillion proprietary, platform-dependent plugins that get loaded on your browser on-the-fly is no improvement to the situation, but to the contrary.
    This is complete bullshit as far as i can tell. Please provide your source that shows where websites will be able to upload their own binary blobs which will execute arbitrary code. I don't see that anywhere in the spec here: http://www.w3.org/TR/encrypted-media/

    Basically, each browser will have to implement certain DRM APIs. Like the HTML5 video spec, they will be able to pass this off to the underlying OS if they don't want to support it directly, so that OSS browsers will be able to use it.

    Dee is correct that there will be a few different systems, and the OS will likely need binary blobs to support them, which Linux will probably not get support for. But websites can't just upload arbitrary blobs.

    The netflix html5 support, for example, uses MS's PlayReady DRM system (since only IE11 has support so far). Apple has their own system, and so does Android. My guess is that Netflix will end up supporting all 3 DRM systems, so that their videos can play on any device. The question then, is whether linux will support any of those 3 systems. PlayReady and Apple's DRM are probably out of the question. It's possible Google might allow someone to license support for their system, but I wouldn't count on it anytime soon.
    Last edited by smitty3268; 08-18-2013 at 04:56 PM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty3268 View Post
    The netflix html5 support, for example, uses MS's PlayReady DRM system (since only IE11 has support so far). Apple has their own system, and so does Android. My guess is that Netflix will end up supporting all 3 DRM systems, so that their videos can play on any device. The question then, is whether linux will support any of those 3 systems. PlayReady and Apple's DRM are probably out of the question. It's possible Google might allow someone to license support for their system, but I wouldn't count on it anytime soon.
    I must admit that I haven't read much about it but this is roughly what I was expecting. If it were to come to Linux then I imagine it would require a "neutral" third party who could competently support the platform but also be trusted not to spill the beans. Google seems like the only likely candidate and maybe Chrome OS could motivate them to do it. Pure speculation on my part, of course, but hey.

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