Want to stream online videos from Netflix, Hulu, or other premium video sites? You’ll probably need to deal with some sort of DRM (Digital Rights Management) software since, among other things, content rights holders want to minimize the chances that you’ll rip the video stream and share it with others.

Online video sites have been moving away from using third-party plugins such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight to manage DRM, and web browser makers have been moving to incorporate support for DRM directly into the browser. They’re not all happy about that.

The folks at Mozilla announced last year that they’d add support for Adobe DRM to the Firefox web browser, despite the fact that the company is reluctant to put closed source code into its open source browser.

Now the first version of Firefox to incorporate Adobe DRM is available for download. But you don’t have to use it.

ff drm

Firefox now includes support for a Content Decryption Module (CDM) which is automatically downloaded after you install Firefox 38 or later, or after you upgrade from an earlier version of Firefox. The module will activate the first time you visit a website that uses the feature. Mozilla says the module runs in a sandbox, to keep Adobe’s DRM software from interacting with anything it shouldn’t.

Don’t want DRM in your browser? You can disable the feature.

Don’t even want to install it in the first place? There’s a new version of Firefox which you can download and install which doesn’t have the module at all.

Or you could run Firefox on a platform other than Windows: the CDM feature is only available on computers running Windows Vista or later.

via Mozilla

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3 replies on “Firefox now includes built-in support for DRM (but it’s kind of optional)”

  1. Last sentance: “Or you could run Firefox on a platform other than Windows” made me happy. Don’t want their DRM on my computers. The Rokus can handle Netflix quite fine and I don’t care what DRM they have running on the STBs.

  2. oh well. Thought I might have some choice. At least Chrome on Linux runs Netflix these days.

    1. They’re working on it. Getting the DRM working the way they want it (completely modular and removable) is hard, so they prioritized the platform with the most users and Netflix viewers. They’ll be bringing it to Mac and Linux as well, we’ll just have to wait until Firefox 39-40.

      Navigating the Bug Tracker is a mess, but it can be insightful.

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