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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Re: Google Ends Paid Google Videos

Google recently announced the end of their download-to-own/ rent video program. In doing so they told users that videos they paid for wouldn’t be playable as of August 15... handing out a Google Checkout voucher instead of a real refund.

Now it looks like they listened to the storm of negative feedback erupting after this move. In a new blog post, the Google Video product manager writes:

[W]e’d like to say thank you to everyone who wrote to let us know that we had made a mistake in the case of Google Video’s Download to Own/Rent Refund Policy vs. Common Sense. (...)

We should have anticipated that some users would see a Checkout credit as nothing more than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind. Our bad.

Google adds that they amend the previously announced process in two ways:

A sensible reaction by Google. Still, the whole thing was another lesson why DRM (digital rights management) not only deprives users of much of fair use, but also puts them at risk by tying their “ownership” of the digital product to the lifetime of the service which manages its rights.


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