There has been a lot of criticism of Mozilla’s decision to move forward in implementing W3C EME, a web standard that the standards body has been working on for some time. While it is understandable that many are upset and believe that Mozilla is not honoring its values, the truth is there really is no other decision Mozilla can make while continuing to compete with other browsers.
The fact is, nearly 30% of Internet traffic today is Netflix, and Netflix is one of the content publishers pushing for this change along with other big names. If Mozilla were to choose not to implement this web standard, it would leave a significant portion of users with inability to access some of the locked content the a majority of users desire. A good portion of users would likely make a decision to leave Firefox rather quickly if this was not implemented and they were locked out.
So with that reality in mind, Mozilla has a choice to support this standard (which is not something the organization necessarily enjoys) or to not support it and lose much of its user base and have a very uncertain future.
“By open-sourcing the sandbox that limits the Adobe software’s access to the system, Mozilla is making it auditable and verifiable. This is a much better deal than users will get out of any of the rival browsers, like Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer, and it is a meaningful and substantial difference.” – Cory Doctorow, The Guardian
The best thing that can be done right now is for users who are unhappy with the decision to continue to support Mozilla which will continue to fight for an open web. Users should also be vocal to the W3C and content publishers that are responsible for this web standard.
In closing Ben Moskowitz also wrote a great blog post on this topic explaining quite more in depth why Mozilla is in this position.