Should Netflix Stop Changing Your Web Browser?


Netflix is working on new ways to make its streaming experience simpler and more consistent. As part of that drive, the company is abandoning Microsoft 's SilverLight technology and focusing on bog-standard HTML5 solutions.

But HTML5 doesn't have support for digital rights management yet, which makes it hard to develop copy-protected media streams. In a perfect world from Netflix's perspective, DRM would be built into every standard Web browser and media box. This DRM support also has backing from technology giants Microsoft and Google , which seems to ensure that any DRM-enabled Web standard will get wide backing in several of the market's most popular Web platforms.

Believe it or not, but that's a controversial idea.

Free software proponent Richard Stallman has written a paper explaining why building DRM into the next HTML standard would be tantamount to treason of the Web's open standards. The DRM proposal under consideration would, "for the first time, standardize a feature intended solely and explicitly for mistreatment of users."

Harsh words from an industry veteran. In this video, Fool contributor Anders Bylund talks you through what Stallman's critique might do to Netflix.

The Motley Fool has released a premium report on Netflix. Inside, you'll learn about the key opportunities and risks facing the company as well as reasons to buy or sell the stock. The report includes a full year of updates to cover critical new developments, so make sure to click here and claim a copy today.

The article Should Netflix Stop Changing Your Web Browser? originally appeared on

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix and Google, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out Anders' bio and holdings or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google and Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.