Firefox 38 Comes With Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Mozilla Firefox web browser now comes with built-in Digital Rights Management (DRM) so that users can play DRM-protected HTML5 video/audio without the need of any additional plug-ins.

Before the release of Firefox 38, users were unable to play any DRM-protected HTML5 video and audio directly. Thus if a user for instance wanted to use a streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, they had to install the Adobe Flash or Silverlight extension. Now with built-in DRM support the installation of the additional plugins is unnecessary. To offer built-in DRM support Mozilla will use Adobe Primetime, a content decryption module (CDM). Earlier, Adobe Primetime was available through Adobe Flash plug-in.


Adobe Primetime CDM will be automatically installed with the latest version of Firefox. Adobe Primetime CDM will be enabled by default. Although users will have the option to either disable CDM or completely remove it from their computers. Alternatively, users who would rather not have the CDM downloaded to their browser on install can download Firefox without the CDM enabled by default.

firefox with cdm

Image Source: Mozilla

See what’s more new in the latest version of Firefox along with direct download links to the latest version of Firefox from here.

Technical Mumbo-Jumbo: DRM, CDM, EME, what are they?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) lets online video and audio services to enforce how the content they provide is used by the end user. DRM technology may restrict some of the things that you can normally do in the browser. DRM-controlled content is usually viewable using Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash browser plugins.

With the introduction of HTML5, many online video and audio services now stream content using HTML5 video and audio functions. In order to let browsers take advantage of HTML5 and play DRM-protected content without any third party plugins, both Google and Microsoft partnered with a number of content providers including Netflix to propose a “built-in” DRM extension for the Web: the W3C Encrypted Media Extensions (EME).

The W3C EME specification defines how to play back DRM-protected content using the HTML5 <video>/<audio> element. EME is a JavaScript API that is part of a larger system for playing DRM-protected content in HTML <video>/<audio>. EME utilizes Content Decryption Module (CDM), the client component that provides functionalities like decryption of the protected content.

More technical insights about the above mentioned technologies can be found on W3C page about EME, Adobe Primetime CDM page and Mozilla Blog.

You may also like...