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Mozilla Launches New Version of Firefox w\Optional Evil DRM

8622502218_2043518dc8_bLove it or hate it, DRM is de rigueur for many online services, including streaming video.

Sites like Hulu and Netflix used to require 3rd-party plugins so you can watch the videos they host, but over the past year Mozilla and other web browser developers have been working to implement support for the new HTML5 DRM spec and remove the need for plugins.

Mozilla’s first new version of Firefox with the new DRM launched today, almost a year to the day from the announcement, and it is not alone. Mozilla has also announced the release of a second version of Firefox that won’t come bundled with Adobe’s tasty DRM goodness (the Adobe Content Decryption Module).

The default version of Firefox will be able to work correctly when the HTML5 video tag is tied to DRM, but Mozilla is also offering a version of Firefox which won’t. As they told us last year, they see it as staying as close to their open web principles as possible while still meeting users' needs.

Adobe Content Decryption Module  mozilla firefox

The idea behind the baked-in DRM is that it will enable users to watch content from Hulu and like services without having to deal with plugins like Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight (both of which are on the way out). Among the other benefits, the new DRM will remove the implicit security risks that comes with the 3rd-party plugins.

The new DRM-infested version of Firefox should be installed as an automatic update, and you can download the DRM-less version here.

And should you want to disable the new DRM, Mozilla has also posted instructions on its website. You can’t actually remove the code but you can turn it off and prevent it from ever running.

For a company stuck between a rock and a hard place, Mozilla sure is trying to satisfy all parties. Mozilla caught a lot of grief from open web advocates when it made that announcement last year, but if they hadn’t added the new DRM they would have eventually lost most of their remaining user base.

Mozilla isn’t in a place where they have to adopt or die so much as they are faced with adopting the new DRM or being replaced by another web browser which will (possibly even a Firefox derivative like Pale Moon).

From that perspective, it’s obvious why Mozilla is following the herd.

image bby Tambako the Jaguar

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Kate May 12, 2015 um 5:46 pm

The only thing I’m wondering is why this article is illustrated by a panda?

Nate Hoffelder May 12, 2015 um 6:04 pm

Whoops. It was labeled as a fox on Flickr. *blush* *facepalm*

I’ll fix it, thank you.

Lars May 13, 2015 um 5:18 am

Red panda?

Users Protest Pocket Integration in an Open-Source Web Browser, Mozilla Responds | Ink, Bits, & Pixels June 11, 2015 um 11:50 am

[…] to be possible. Earlier this year Mozilla released a couple new versions of Firefox, one of which came with integrated support for the latest generation of web DRM tech. That could arguably be described as a necessary evil, […]

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