Analyst: Google Video Store’s proprietary DRM a sign of Google’s ‘arrogance’

“The upcoming Google Video Store, announced Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show, already has lined up commitments to sell thousands of downloads, including recent television broadcasts of popular CBS shows and professional basketball games, as well as vintage episodes from series that went off the air decades ago. A launch date for the store has not been released,” May Wong reports for The Associated Press. “With Google’s marketplace, content suppliers can name their own price, from zero on up. The content owners who charge for video downloads must share 30 percent of the revenue with Google.”

“Although Google’s service allows content owners more pricing freedom, it isn’t necessarily as liberating for users,” Wong reports. “While all of videos downloaded through Apple’s [iTunes Music Store] can be transferred onto a portable player – albeit only its own iPod – for on-the-go viewing, that won’t be true at Google’s service. Google has developed its own copy protection technology that so far prevents content owners from moving their video downloads to a mobile playing device. In instances where the content provider adopts Google’s copy protection scheme, watching a video sold through Google will require users to be online so they can log on and view it via the company’s video player. CBS and the NBA are among the content owners adopting Google’s copy protections.”

“In another distinction from iTunes, Google Video so far works only on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows-based PCs and not yet on Apple’s Macintosh computers,” Wong reports. “By relying on its own proprietary copy-protection technology, Google threatens to compound the frustration that some consumers feel when they buy songs from one online source like the iTunes store, only to discover the music can’t be played on an incompatible gadget… Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff offered a possible explanation for Google’s decision: ‘It’s arrogance.'”

Full article here.

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Related article:
Google to launch Google Video Store; supports iPod for non-copy-protected content only – January 06, 2006


  1. What seperate Apple from the rest is of course the devices.

    Google none

    M$ crappy devices

    Sony PSP with some work but no DRM allowance

    Apple iPod and video iPods, established platform (Mac’s) and third party software readily available for any conversion on PPC Macs (snapz pro x, hand brake etc)

  2. The article is wrong about Mac compatibility:

    From Google video web site:

    The minimum system requirements for running the Google Video Viewer properly are:
    – Windows 2000 or higher with latest updates installed
    – Mac OS X 10.3 or higher
    – Firefox 1.1+, IE 5.0+, or Safari 1.0+

  3. Ehh. Proprietary DRM, I don’t care. As long it’s not a Windows-only DRM like you-know-what, it can be as proprietary as it likes.

    Looking forward to giving the Google Video Player a spin on my Mac!

  4. most analysts are wrong about technology. Most reporters are wrong about technology. They just don’t do their homework.

    The biggest example is the commonly reported error that the only source for music for iTunes is the iTunes Music Store.

  5. Joe Video User
    Reference not that obscure. If anything ‘nuts’ is what Steve said to MS years ago when the tried to get Apple to surrender. Apple was surrounded in a desperate situation and they refused to surrender and fought their way out of it.

  6. The DRM wars have just begun.

    People bitch about Apple not licensing Fairplay. The reality is they can’t because that would lead to hacks, loss of control and ultimately, loss of content and then loss of viewers.

    Google has been scarfing up unused Fiber and has some sort of grand scheme to deliver content via it. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    The proof is in who actually sells content. Apple is selling NOW.

    Enough with the announcements of systems coming soon.


    How many people are going to watch TV on their PC? I don’t want some pile of Dell and MS crappola heaped up in the family room next to my 53″ Sony monitor. My wife would crap a brick.

    However, the boss has no problem with my MacMini sitting on the TV (it’s the 500GB firewire drive sitting next to it that she thiinks is ugly). We regularly watch DVDs I’ve ripped in the basement and sent up to the mini via ethernet. Even some iTMS video content at iPod display resolution looks ok (arguably better than VHS).

    Apple has a working system and a standardized system of delivery (the internet).

    I say bring on the competition and bring on the $299 MacMini!

  7. Will someone again email this guy and correct him:

    “By relying on its own proprietary copy-protection technology, Google threatens to compound the frustration that some consumers feel when they buy songs from one online source like the iTunes store, only to discover the music can’t be played on an incompatible gadget such as Creative Technologies’ Zen player. “

    Frustration? What frustration? Frustration at not reading a help file, magazine, or clicking a button a few times.

    Sweet Jesus. It’s easier than buying a CD at the store, putting on your Zen mps “player”, than it is to buy the music, rip a CD, then rip it back and dump into your Zen. ($3.00/gallon gas anyone???)


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