Google Blogoscoped

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Google Ends Paid Google Videos

On January 7 2006 Google announced a video store service on top of Google Video. You were able to purchase videos such as NBA games, Charlie Rose interviews, or shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (in the US at least). You were also able to set a purchase price for videos you uploaded yourself. Today, Google started sending out mails like the following, announcing the end of this program:

As a valued Google user, we’re contacting you with some important information about the videos you’ve purchased or rented from Google Video. In an effort to improve all Google services, we will no longer offer the ability to buy or rent videos for download from Google Video, ending the DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program. This change will be effective August 15, 2007.

To fully account for the video purchases you made before July 18, 2007, we are providing you with a Google Checkout bonus for $2.00. Your bonus expires in 60 days, and you can use it at the stores listed here: The minimum purchase amount must be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping and tax.

After August 15, 2007, you will no longer be able to view your purchased or rented videos.

As this case shows, “download-to-own” is a lie when it comes to DRM content. Digital Rights Management is an euphemism for copy-protection services that (mostly) treat consumers like criminals, and deprive them of their fair use of acquired content; in this case, Google indicates you won’t own the movies you purchased after all. When a DRM-based services ceases to exist, so may your purchases.

Jennifer Feikin in May this year was reported to have resigned from her job as Google Video chief. Google by now is using YouTube for much of the officially released Google content, like videos posted in their blogs. An internal Google goal from 2006 ordered to count the “total number of Google products and reduce by 20%”. I wonder if the technically superior but less community-oriented YouTube alternative by YouTube-owner Google ended up on the 20% list – or at least parts of it?

[Thanks Shivan, Jon Henshaw and Pacificdave!]

Update: Google now declared they prolonged the time period in which the video content plays back. Also, you will get a full refund instead of a Checkout voucher.


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!