Sun finally released the Opera DRM sourcecode the other day which is part of their Open Media Commons effort launched some time ago. It is interesting in the sense that its a major DRM effort with a complete implementation available.
In that regard I think its prudent to mention that we are currently working on DRM support for GStreamer at Fluendo currently. The goal is to have a framework for using various DRM systems with the GStreamer framework without interfering with the way GStreamer currently works. Opera DRM is one system we are looking into implementing support for as a proof of concept. Since its free software it fits well with our goal of releasing our DRM integration stuff as free software too (although it will allow for closed source modules to be made for things like Windows Media DRM and Fairplay for instance).
The DRM work has included a lot of thinking on our part about the implications and I think its safe to say that we love DRM as little as everyone else. On the other hand we have also seen that a lot of doors get closed on us, GStreamer and GNU/Linux due to lack of DRM support, which means people in those cases go with a Windows based solution instead. Which of course is no win for free software.
On the other side there is the question on how far you should go in trying to accomodate people too and I am sure many in the community feels that any sort of DRM support is going too far.
For me personally it comes down to a evaluation of what we can achieve and what position we are operating from. Personally I doubt technology providers will be able to dictate this, or rather if we say no then someone else will say yes (ie. Microsoft). The only group out there with the power to shut down DRM are the consumers, they need to revolt at the idea and stop buying music and movies which are using DRM. What we as a technology provider can do is try to move DRM usage in favour of the more userfriendly and fair systems.
In some ways I hope we will be able to do with DRM what we hope to accomplish with our streaming hosting platform. People come to us and ask for WMA or MP3 streaming, and we are able to give them that, but we also give them Ogg streaming as part of the package. In that way we help make sure more and more content is available as Ogg streams and through that help solve part of the chicken-egg problem that is there in regards to widespread adoption of Ogg.
Of course all that said, we are running a business at Fluendo and making money is of course one of our main objectives (companies who don’t have that objective tend not to be around for long for some reason), so I am not claiming we are altruism incorporated. But we do try to do morally ‘the right thing’ in the way we operate and do right by the community we sprung from. So I hope we do not anger the community to much by our current work.
It also have to be said that there are some technology landscape level changing agreements being part of this. I am not able to say anything more about that at this point, but we should be able to make some announcements about it during the first half of next year. Hopefully when its announced people will agree that we did the right cost/benefit calculation.