EFF Stirs Fear of Flash DRM


The Electronic Frontier Foundation is upset about Adobe’s efforts to add digital rights management to its extremely popular Flash video format. Since the Digital Millennium Copyright Law (DMCA) forbids circumventing DRM, this could make mashups and downloads of Flash videos illegal.

DRM, by restricting the remixing of Flash videos, stands to bankrupt a rich store of educational value by foreclosing the ability of students and teachers to “echo others” by remixing videos posted online.

Adobe’s designs on DRM have been public for almost a year now. The Adobe Media Player (which is still due this quarter, according to an Adobe spokesperson I talked to recently) is to include DRM, as we reported last April. This is a play for the growing ad-supported streaming TV market. An outside vendor, Widevine, announced support for Flash DRM in April as well.

Adobe won’t be flooding the online video market with DRM anytime soon, though. Its Flash DRM would only be available to customers of Adobe’s expensive Flash Media Server, for which many video-sharing sites decline to pay, and users of the Adobe Media Player, which hasn’t even been released yet.

Adobe Media Player is meant to be an hardware-independent competitor to Apple iTunes and Windows Media Player, setting up yet another skirmish among the three companies. Elsewhere, Apple, despite customer interest, continues to withhold Flash from the iPhone.



Geraldz, not just paid content but free content that premium content owners want to protect. TV networks for example who are putting ads against premium content. NBC, ABC etc.


I agree, Jim. A genious move. Most of the protected content I’ve come across relies on Microsoft’s DRM protocol and therefore must use the WMP. However, it’s not cross-platform so Adobe has identified a real market opportunity. This will be a big hit for anyone looking to sell paid content online.

James Gardiner

I am very surprised that Adobe DRM is generating any media now. All this has been on the cards for a long time.

And why people are being negative about it. It is a better and far cheaper solution to any other currently available alternatives. And it is truely cross platform.

Sure, its a proprietory DRM. But its based on open standards and the DRM server is very resonable priced at $995 and runs on Linux (The expensive one (4-5K) is for sites like ustream.tv which use the colabritive and streaming funtionality. It is not needed for simple DRM activities)

In real terms, I think this is a genious move by Adobe. I have a long post on this called.
Adobe’s plan for world domination
in which I talk a look at some of the long term goals of Adobes strategy.
Find it here.



If a feed is ad-supported, of what use is DRM? DRM is used to protect paid services – such as access to a live stream (NFL Live) or a movie download.

http://RSSLiveTV.com – a quick and easy way to tune internet television stations

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