The Digital Media Manifesto



Zvi Lifshitz


Comments on "Complete draft of Digital Media Manifesto"




I read the document. It is comprehensive and thorough, yet does not stay on the abstract level but proposes concrete actions, which is good.

The manifesto focuses on interoperable DRM, which of course I agree with. However, I challenge the axiom that interoperable DRM can be achieved by standardizing only the "interfaces". This was the approach taken by IPMP-X, which is IMO the reason why IPMP-X only inches toward interoperable DRM but doesn't get there. Standardizing DRM interfaces is like standardizing MPEG-4 Systems without audio and video, assuming that decoders can be downloaded. I don't have to tell you that this wouldn't work.

I think the analogy to media compression also holds in the sense that the fact that we have a single compression scheme prevents neither market segmentation nor competition. Market segmentation is achieved with profiles and levels, and room for competition is amply because the compression scheme tells nothing about the compression quality. On the other hand, a unified compression scheme enables gateways and interactions between applications. IMO the DMP should assume that this is true for DRM, starting from an overall goal of standardizing all aspects of DRM, and then reduce and breakdown if necessary after investigation.

Other points which I would emphasize more:

Otherwise wishing very good luck with the project,