Thursday, April 9, 2015

Primetime Content Decryption Module by Adobe: What is it?

Primetime Content Decryption Module by Adobe: What is it?

If you check Firefox's installed plugins right now, you may stumble upon one called Primetime Content Decryption Module provided by Adobe Systems, Incorporated if you are using a pre-release version of the browser.

I did not find it listed in stable versions of Firefox but it was included in Nightly versions of Firefox and is probably included in other versions of the browser as well.

As is the case with all of these plugins, they are enabled by default in the browser.

You may then ask yourself how that plugin ended up being installed in the web browser and what its purpose is.

The description reads "Play back protected web video" which, in combination with the title of the plugin suggests that it is a plugin for DRM (digital rights management).

First thing you should do when you find a new plugin listed in the browser is find out where it is loaded from.

This is done by opening about:plugins in Firefox as it highlights that. Turns out, Adobe's Primetime plugin is loaded from within the Firefox profile and not from an independent program folder on the system.

You may also notice that it uses a similar syntax to Mozilla's OpenH264 Coded provided by Cisco which indicates that it has been added to the browser by Mozilla and not Adobe directly.

The bugs 1089867 and 1137961 confirm that this is the case.

So why is it there? It introduces playback capabilities for DRM protected media in Firefox and seems to be part of Mozilla's strategy to introduce those capabilities in Firefox.

While that may be useful to some users of the browser, others may not want to run the plugin at all in Firefox.

Disable Adobe Primetime

You have a couple of options to disable the Primetime plugin. First and easiest option is to simple set it to disabled in the Firefox Add-ons Manager.

1-Load about:addons in the browser's address bar and hit enter.

2-Switch to plugins and locate the Primetime Content Decryption Module provided by Adobe Systems, Incorporated plugin.

3-Switch it to "never activate".

While that blocks the plugin from being loaded with the browser, it is still listed in it.

To remove all GMP plugins from Firefox, do the following instead:

1-Type about:config in the browser's address bar and hit enter.

2-Confirm you will be careful and continue.

3-Search for media.gmp-provider.enabled.

4-Double-click the preference to set it to false.

5-Restart Firefox.

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