I wanted to repost Bill Rosenblatt’s commentary from Copyright and Technology’s site. I absolutely agree with Bill and will up the ante somewhat. DECE is hiding something – and I think it’s the fact it is struggling to gain commitment from its Members….Here’s Bill’s piece:
I got an email message last week from the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem trumpeting the release of the “finalized” version 1.0 DECE/UltraViolet specs.
Under normal circumstances, I would take the time to read the specs and summarize and comment on them here — as I have done with Marlin, Coral, XrML, DMP IDP, hNews, the RIAA watermark payload spec, and various others over the years. But I can’t do that, because DECE is demanding that anyone who wants to download the specs sign a nondisclosure agreement – which they say is non-negotiable.
Releasing a purported digital media standard under NDA (let alone a non-negotiable one) is unheard-of nowadays. Every recent consortium or standards body in this field makes its specs publicly available; at the outside, they require filling out a form with contact information.
If DECE wants to attract positive early press in the run-up to its planned summer launch, this is exactly the wrong the way to start. It’s hard not to draw a conclusion that DECE is using secrecy of the spec to bolster its security scheme; and if that’s the case, security experts will draw the conclusion that it can’t be much of a security scheme. Even the secrecy of crypto algorithms went out of fashion several years ago, dismissed by experts as “security by obscurity.”
Others will immediately assume that this is a sign of yet another paranoid Hollywood cabal and write it off. DECE has not exactly been lavishly forthcoming with information over the past couple of years anyway. Ars Technica had even used largely positive language in describing DECE, but I wouldn’t expect such relative goodwill to continue.