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Google Video Store Shutting Down 155

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the calling-it-quits dept.
babbling writes "Google is going to close the Google Video Store, leaving users who bought videos that used Digital Restrictions Management without their purchases. The users of Google Video Store will be compensated with Google Checkout credit, but it seems they will be out of luck if they don't happen to be Google Checkout users."
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Google Video Store Shutting Down

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  • Once again... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Saturday August 11, 2007 @11:33AM (#20195551) Homepage Journal
    Yet another example of where DRM harms the consumer. This has happened now with Microsoft and their music service among other examples and now Google with their video service. Once companies (and governments) stop thinking of all their customers and citizens as criminals, we might start getting somewhere. This is not about business protection, it is about providing services that protect and enrich peoples lives that are being selected voluntarily. You (companies and governments) do not have a *right* to me as a customer or a citizen, but you exist at the customers or citizens pleasure. Once we manage to get that concept across, garbage like DRM will go away.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @11:52AM (#20195701) Journal
    If you happen to read TFA, you will notice that you're talking out your ass.

    Google has been selling the right to watch a wide range of video, including sports, music and news, since January 2006. Most of the video sold for anywhere from a couple US dollars to $20. Customers could pay less to "rent" the right to watch a selected video for a day or buy the show so it would be available to watch indefinitely.

    All paid programming had to be watched through a viewer on Google's site.


    To compensate customers who will no longer be able to see the videos that they purchased, Google is providing refunds in the form of credits that can be used on its online payment service, Checkout.
    You can only watch it through a viewer on Google's site. Google is no longer offering the service, thus your videos are not watchable.

    How is that not DRM? And does that clarify the matter?
  • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Informative)

    by arth1 (260657) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @11:55AM (#20195727) Homepage Journal
    Did they operate also in the Western European market? The EU has laws requiring the owners of a closed down business to continue to provide support for several years, and the non-EU Western European countries have consumer protection laws even stricter than that (the expected lifetime of the product), which would come into play here. Continued support for the DRM part would be expected.

    IANAL, but I believe the only way to pull of something like this in Europe, and get away with not providing support for several years, would be to spin off a subsidiary as a wholly independent company, and then when the subsidiary declares bankruptcy, there's no new owner of that part of the business.

  • by Denis Troller (1002792) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @12:08PM (#20195805)
    I'm just saying that what /. people usually yell about is companies that try to sell you something as "goods" (I bought a song) when it really is only a "service" (I bought the right to listen to a song).

    It was a rental service. When you rent a movie, you clearly have no right to make a copy or whatever, and neither do you have any right to keep the tape if the store chooses to close. Not a DRM issue in my book.

    What Google sold was clearly a service. If from what Google sold people thought they would be able to watch it "indefinitely" then they deserve what happened. It was a stupid move in the first place.

    The content wasn't sold and locked out. What was sold was clearly an access right. You were never supposed to have any possibility of accessing it otherwise (which is what most people think they can do with DRM'd files, up to the point where it explodes in their face).

    I agree, the business model was shitty from a customer point of view. And I agree that you could tie that into the whole DRM stuff somehow as far as educating the customer and so on. I was just pointing out that it's different from companies selling you files and THEN trying to lock the content out of your reach and sue you when you use it as intended.

    It would not bother me if Google was to reimburse its customers in a proper way, because people in that case got what they actually bought, which is not a DRM'd file.
    On this board it is enough to say DRM to see people going up in arms, without even bothering to read TFA to see what really happened.
  • by r3m0t (626466) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:04PM (#20196187)
    The DRM was that you couldn't download it. You had to watch it on their website. If you use the "rent" feature, this is OK. If you use the "buy" feature, you expect that (even if you can't download it, and have to log in to view your video) you'll always be able to watch it. Especially for a company like Google - can't they afford to stream the shows that people bought, basically forever? Apparently not.

    Instead people get some credit that they can't turn into cash. The shows they bought, they no longer have - maybe they can find it elsewhere for more.
  • by eggoeater (704775) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:32PM (#20196409) Journal
    This is precisely why I won't buy video from iTunes.
    Unless I can burn it to a standard DVD, I will never buy DRM'd video from anyone!.

    I do buy music from iTunes since they openly allow you to burn it to disc, therefore making it usable even if I run out of "authorized computers" or Apple decides to deprecate their DRM.

    I'm in the process of looking at eMusic too, but they won't show you their whole catalog unless you sign up (ie. give them a credit card number) for their free trial. I'm guessing their catalog is, uh, limited since they don't want you to see it before you sign up.

  • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:53PM (#20196577) Journal
    I'm sorry, but I find it difficult to think of a stream as DRM. Do we talk about FM radio being DRMed (or ARMed)? Pay-per-view cable? When you are prevented from bringing a video camera into a movie theater (which is streaming from the projector, onto the screen, and then to your eyes), do you complain about the theater's DRM?

    Yes, you can video tape pay-per-view (afaik). You can do the equivalent to a stream coming in to your computer using a variety of software and methods. So, why the insistence on calling everything DRM? The word is losing its meaning. It's getting watered down and eventually will mean "anything I don't like about an entertainment product".
  • by syntaxglitch (889367) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @02:36PM (#20196923)

    I'm in the process of looking at eMusic too, but they won't show you their whole catalog unless you sign up (ie. give them a credit card number) for their free trial. I'm guessing their catalog is, uh, limited since they don't want you to see it before you sign up.

    I could be wrong here, but I think that may have more to do with crappy website design than actively preventing you from looking at their selection. Try using Google searches with site:emusic.com to turn up the normal pages instead of the "SIGN UP NOW LOLZ" pages. Although, they may have changed that more recently. I'm a happily paying customer of eMusic now, so I haven't tried it lately...

    That said, their selection largely amounts to 1) Classical 2) Assorted ethnic and non-English stuff 3) Non-RIAA indie labels. I'm currently listening to some Pixies and White Stripes music I got from eMusic. Anyhow, if any of those three types appeal to you, I encourage you to sign up; it's certainly worth it. If you want popular music, stick with more mainstream online music stores, like, er, BitTorrent. ;)

  • by raynet (51803) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @02:48PM (#20197013) Homepage
    The difference ofcourse is that in Google's case, the files are streamed, thus continuing the service would require more resources than just a DRM authentication service. But instead of refunds, Google should have allowed users to download the videos and perhaps, if required by content owners, put some "traditional" DRM on them, eg. Playsforsure or whatnot.

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