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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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  • by biocute (936687) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:37AM (#20195575) Homepage
    leaving users who bought videos that used Digital Restrictions Management without their purchases

    That'll teach them to never buy non-pirated videos in the future!
  • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:37AM (#20195577)
    The problem comes in when you equate "citizen" with "consumer".
  • by ductonius (705942) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:42AM (#20195627) Homepage
    A better analogy would be you arrived at the cooking school and the receptionist told you they no longer teach the classes you'd paid for, but they could give you credit for yoga lessons at a place across town.
  • by Denis Troller (1002792) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:43AM (#20195633)
    If you happen to read TFA, you will notice that there is no mention of DRM.
    Simply because this is not a DRM issue. This service offered to WATCH video on demand, not download it.
    Once the service stops, there is no way to continue watching information you don't have (you might call that the ultimate DRM...)

    In the end, it's about people who have been drawn to an service which cannot guarantee them what hey might think it does. It is not a DRM issue, it's a "customer thinking before he buys" issue. Google has every right to close its store and people should have thought about that.

    Now, the fact that Google will provide refunds only through Google Checkout, now that seems pretty unfair to me.
  • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:44AM (#20195643) Homepage Journal

    Buy DRM locked music from Microsoft? Surely there is no possible risk. They even labelled it "PlaysForSure", so I know I'll still have access to it in a few years. Oops, you old music doesn't work on the new media player, and your new music doesn't work on your old media player. [bbc.co.uk]

    Buy DRM locked movies in the form of silver access to DIVX disks? A giant chain like Circuit City won't screw you. Unless they decided it's no longer profitable and take your access away. [sfgate.com]

    Love your EV1 electric car and would happily pay to own it? Too bad, the manufacturer wants it back and would rather destroy the car than sell it to you.

    Buy video to watch online through Google? Google's a good company with a long view, there is no risk there. Oops, again.

    This is why a world where you don't own anything is a bad idea. The people leasing or licensing the access to you can and will take it away from you. It's alright to agree upon fixed terms up front (I'm only guaranteed my apartment for a year; I'm only guaranteed access to a given NetFlix video stream for a day or two), but when I decide I want access forever, it damn well better be forever.

  • by jimicus (737525) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:47AM (#20195671)
    For years, us geeks on /. have been very wary of DRM. Mainly because many implementations depend on being able to regularly phone home - and if "home" ceases to exist (or, for that matter, continues to exist but decides it's not taking any more calls, as in this case), all the media you've paid good money for essentially evaporates.

    But as long as that's a theoretical problem, one that's never been known to happen - it's one which won't get taken seriously by the masses who actually buy this stuff. Now, however, there's a concrete example. "Do not buy this, all your music and video can suddenly stop working for no immediately apparent reason and you won't have any comeback whatsoever".

    On a side note, I wonder how long I'd last in the real world if I sold physical products which could, if I so desired, evaporate overnight with no prior warning and the purchaser having done nothing wrong? And then I started making them evaporate?
  • by NickFortune (613926) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:48AM (#20195675) Homepage Journal

    [But is this any different] from buying services (a gift certificate or classes or something) from a brick-and-mortar store that then closes?

    Yes, I think it is. Customer expectations are different when they buy a film; they expect it to be like a video or DVD where they get ongoing access. Personally, I think that's a legitimate expectation.

    Now you can argue that expectations are going to have to change if you want. But that isn't going to help if no one buys DRM content because they've not received the value they expected for their transaction.

  • by Captain Tripps (13561) * on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:56AM (#20195731)
    Movies (and music, and software) are traditionally considered products, not services. Nowadays there are plenty of folks willing to sell you subscriptions to these things, but Google gave the option to buy these videos outright, with no time limitations. And the customers would have been able to watch them indefinitely, or resell them, or loan them to friends, except for the artificial restrictions of the DRM. That's the main problem with DRM: it limits the concept of "ownership" to be whatever the seller chooses, even if that's more restrictive than what the law allows. Apple's changed the rules on FairPlay before, so not are they limiting your rights, they're doing it after the fact.

    I'm very encouraged that things seem to be turning around, though. Five years ago, I'd have never guessed major labels would be selling unprotected tracks.
  • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:59AM (#20195749)
    Is this anything new? Pirated versions of movies and games have always been superior. No unskippable (UOP) fbi warnings and previews on DVDs, no region codes, games that don't require a disc in the drive... plus movie pirates are the best in the industry when it comes to video compression with minimal loss of quality. We've been taught over and over again that the legitimate options always fall short of the abolutely unrestricted nature of pirated IP
  • by an.echte.trilingue (1063180) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @11:08AM (#20195799) Homepage

    That'll teach them to never buy non-pirated videos in the future!
    The fact that this comment is right on the money is really depressing.

    I hate pirating as a way to get entertainment, not for some ephemeral moral reasons, but simply because it is a pain in the ass. Bittorrent takes forever (maybe that isn't true for everybody but my ISP shapes traffic), IRC and USENET are unreliable and ususally have queues. Quality is sometimes good sometimes not, you never know. If your tastes are the least bit eclectic or outdated, you can forget about finding what you want easily. Pirating entertainment just sucks. It sucks less than going to the store to get your entertainment, but it still sucks.

    I would love to pay money (even at the current going rates for CDs and DVDs minus a couple bucks since I have to make my own cases and provide my own disks) to download quality files from fast servers. And, low and behold, every time somebody starts something like this, they make it suck more than pirating movies. You get tied to a platform, the store closes out from under you, you have to run an interface that shows you ads just so that you can play your music, movie, whatever.

    How hard is it to make an interface that sucketh not? Their content is already on thepiratebay, so its not like offering video and music for download is going to increase piracy. They should at least offer a viable alternative for those of us who would rather pay (and I bet there are many of us).
  • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @11:09AM (#20195809) Journal
    If anyone ever had an ethical basis for snagging a copy of something off of bit torrent, it is you, my friend. That or crack the DRM. Granted, your legal rights are not so clear cut. You'd probably be running afoul of the law. But you'd be doing it with a clear conscience at least.

    One question for you. The /. summary states that the customers that didn't use google check out will not be getting refunds. But was it even possible to purchase the videos without google check out? Of course, Google really should be giving a cash refund and cutting checks, but that doesn't excuse /. for once again getting a story wrong. The /. staff have learned their lessons from John Dvorak.
  • Actually... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaedalusHKX (660194) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @11:22AM (#20195889) Journal
    The problem is when customers and citizens fail to realize that they are ALL consumers... citizens are consumers of government services, the same way customers are consumers of company services. Since both of those groups rarely insist on being informed consumers or better yet, SELF RELIANT, they end up at the mercy of their service providers.

    DRM is merely the latest in a monopoly non free market that has been prevalent since government got created and got involved in regulating the market. Until the sheep stop being livestock and assert their own right to exist and make informed decisions, until the slogan singing stops, there will be little but more of the same. Tyranny never stopped, it merely dropped the eastern iron gauntlet and grabbed the velvet glove... and it hasn't lost a match yet, and once more, we're nearing the game point of the match called "Western Civilization".
  • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomas.galvin (551471) <slashdot&thomas-galvin,com> on Saturday August 11, 2007 @11:46AM (#20196061) Homepage

    Yet another example of where DRM harms the consumer.


    Somewhere, Richard Stallman is muttering "I told you so" through a gnarly beard...
  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @12:54PM (#20196585) Journal
    Reminds me of an ad they used to put on rental VHS tapes. Some guy buys a pirated copy of "train spotting" off some dodgy guy down at the market, and tries unsuccesfully to get his money back as the tape is of unwatchably poor quality. The follows a stern warning that pirated tapes suck and can even damage your VCR.

    10 years into the future, and the situation is reversed. People now laugh at the poor dope dumb enough to buy a legitimate copy. And they don't laugh because he paid money. I'd pay, to get a decent copy without the hassle of having to find it first (and downloading it only to find it's a German language version). As long as that copy is mine.
  • Re:Once again... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:01PM (#20196641) Homepage Journal
    ``Yet another example of where DRM harms the consumer.''

    Example? We need examples of that? Harming cosumers is the _only_ thing DRM _does_!
  • by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:16PM (#20196777)
    This incident shows the pitfalls of DRM, but Google didn't HAVE to do this.
    When Microsoft shutdown their MSN Music Store (the music store portion of http://music.msn.com/ [msn.com] ), they kept the DRM servers in place so users that had purchased music from there could still obtain DRM licenses for the music as needed (for example, when moving the music to a new computer). Google has *plenty* of money and ability to do the same. This is a BS move by Google.
  • by badasscat (563442) <`basscadet75' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:33PM (#20196907)
    The same fine article which announces the end of the Google Video store announces that Google is getting into video advertising! As if these things are related... hmmm....
    Just think. What would it mean if the real purpose of Google's video store was to get their internal video player working well enough that they could do AdSense on video?


    Eh?

    I think you've managed to confuse at least three different points in your last sentence.

    First of all, adsense is for content creators. Google obviously gets a cut, but the whole point is that people attach adsense ads to their own content. So now you'd be against revenue sharing with video content creators? I've always thought it was pretty offensive that sites like YouTube get to keep all their ad revenue themselves while those who actually make the content that draws the traffic in get nothing. Talk about a racket! AdSense for video would be one of the best things to ever happen to YouTube. People would actually have a real incentive to create more videos, and better quality ones too (since there's no incentive in creating videos nobody would watch). And those who actually draw the traffic in would be able to make money, not just the YouTube guys sitting there watching it all happen.

    Second, there's no big mystery to getting a Flash video player "working well enough", and anyway the Google Video and YouTube players are totally different. Google basically admitted defeat to YouTube when they purchased them; they're now de-emphasizing Google Video. Little or none of that technology is going to end up filtering back to YouTube - they already have a player that works perfectly fine.

    Third, YouTube (post-Google purchase) has been talking about their plans for pre-roll video ads for at least six months. These will be at the option of the content owner, ie. Google won't be inserting them. The purpose of this is to attract more major commercial content owners, many of whom will not (or legally cannot) post video to YouTube without having a sponsor ad shown beforehand. My company, for example, is one of the few that does post video on YouTube, but we have certain videos that we have to hold back because we have sponsor deals that say pre-roll must be shown before any web exhibition. Once they get pre-roll going, we'll be able to add those videos. Some people may get pissed off about this, but the alternative is that we just don't post those videos. You either watch with an ad or you don't watch at all; that's the choice. (And the logical extension of that is that these clips wouldn't even exist without the sponsor; that's why they require the pre-roll.)

  • by jez9999 (618189) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @02:09PM (#20197165) Homepage Journal
    And, low and behold, every time somebody starts something like this, they make it suck more than pirating movies.

    I think you'll find that has more to do with Hollywood than incompetent video services. It's a capitalist market - if the service isn't there, there's an opportunity for you to start one and cash in. But, you'll probably find you have the same problems with licencing as the rest of them.
  • by Weezul (52464) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @03:39PM (#20197783)
    Infact "do no evil" is alive & well : this make DRM harder to sell.

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