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Firefox’s adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart

Filed under
Moz/FF

Future versions of the open-source Firefox browser will include closed-source digital rights management (DRM) from Adobe, the Mozilla project’s chief technology officer, Andreas Gal, announced on Wednesday.

The purpose is to support commercial video streams. But this is a radical, disheartening development in the history of the organisation, long held out as a beacon for the open, free spirit of the web as a tool for liberation.

As Gal’s blogpost makes clear, this move was done without much enthusiasm, out of a fear that Firefox (Mozilla’s flagship product and by far the most popular free/open browser in the world) was being sidelined by Apple, Google and Microsoft’s inclusion of proprietary technology to support Netflix and other DRM-encumbered videos in their browsers.

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