Cory Doctorow writes that we’re on the brink of ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ web browsing, meaning that toolmakers are no longer allowed to create ad-blocking tools. That would seriously suck.
The standard the W3C published—Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), for restricting playback of video—comes with many dangers for would-be adversarial interoperators, notably the risk of being sued under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans tampering with “access controls” on copyrighted works and holds out both criminal and civil liability for toolsmiths who traffic in programs that let you change the rules embodied by EME.
One driving force behind the adoption of EME was the ever-tighter integrationbetween major browser vendors like Google, video distributors, and advertising networks. This created a lopsided power-dynamic that ultimately ended up in the standardization of a means of undoing the configurable Web—where the user is king. EME is the first crack in the wall that protected browsers from those who would thwart adversarial operability and take “how about nah?” off the table, leaving us with the kind of take-it-or-leave-it Web that the marketing industry has been striving for since the first pop-up ad.Adblocking: How About Nah? by Cory Doctorow for EFF