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.

Advertisements:
Get Free Shipping on Top-Rated iPod and Mac Accessories
The New iPod with Video. The ultimate music & video experience on the go. From $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.00.
The New iMac G5. Built-in camera and remote control. From $1299. Free shipping.
Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using your dial-up service. $49.00.

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

27 Comments

  1. I’m surprised the Open Source proponents haven’t launched a web crawler/search engine based on the open source philosophy. Google has web masters, ecommerce sites, etc. by the short and curlies.

    Google’s practices are in fact too self serving more often than not. For example, when you do a search on Google you are not necessarily getting the most relevant result, just the ones that percolate to the top based on Googles proprietary algorithm. This algo is a well guarded Google secret. Wonder how their ad revenue business fits into their algo?

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  2. “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. “

    Those are the same type of people that bought a CD player and tried to cram their records in the front and wondering why they wouldn’t fit – You know it happens everyday that Apple Tech Support has to answer the call of some new mac switcher that is trying to install some windows program on their Mac and wondering why it won’t work…I’m sorry their is no cure for ignorance.

  3. If Google wanted to be a real hard-nose about it they could develop software that would install on an iPod or WinMedia Video device, replacing the native software while allowing whatever content Google sells/allows.

    This could work in a manner similar to the LINUX install that works on the iPod. It would piss Apple & Microsoft off, but they really could do little about it. No more than they can keep you from installing 3rd party apps on a desktop or laptop.

    Dual boot or overwrite, Google could easily do this to any variety of devices. Follow the links to find out more.

    http://ipodlinux.org/Main_Page

    http://ipodlinux.sourceforge.net/index.shtml

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback/linux_on_ipod/Linux_on_ipod_review.html

    http://www.macworld.com/2005/05/secrets/julygeekfactor/index.php

    http://ipodlinux.org/Podzilla

    http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/03/linuxipod/index.php

    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/developer/0,39020387,2119965,00.htm

    http://linuxgazette.net/120/nirendra.html

    http://linuxdevices.com/news/NS8241260316.html

    I’m not saying it WILL happen, just that they easily could.

  4. They’re just doing what they can. Maybe they’ll improve, maybe they won’t, maybe they just aren’t in a position to offer anything better. But you can’t fault them for trying.

    I hope they DO improve, because they’re Mac-friendly, they’re not Microsoft, and because competition will only make Apple’s stuff better.

  5. “Google has developed its own copy protection technology that so far prevents content owners from moving their video downloads to a mobile playing device.”

    Oh yeah, this is going to go over big time. If there is anything that should have been learned from Apple’s iPod success, it’s that people want mobility. Of course, that is with their music. Running, walking, driving, riding, whatever. Whether or not that works for video is something that remains to be seen. I doubt it, but at the very least, I think most people are going to want the most basic right of being able to move it around their home or take it with them on trips.

    ” 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.”

    Oh yeah (again), consumers are going to love this, too. Remember how successful this concept made DIVX, Circuit City’s “alternate” DVD format?

    “CBS and the NBA are among the content owners adopting Google’s copy protections.”

    CBS I can understand, but the NBA???? Is piracy of sporting events that have already aired a major problem?

    “By relying on its own proprietary copy-protection technology, Google threatens to compound the frustration that some consumers feel…”

    I’d say that’s blinding obvious. However, one has to conclude that Google and the entertainment industries must think this viewpoint is totally without merit.

    Will “they” never learn?

  6. Video isn’t about how it gets to you, it’s about what content you can get for your setup. The ipod w/ video is an OK device. It is not entrenched in the market because it is relatively new and there is not that much content available for it. Whoever comes up w/ the best available content choice AND supports any personal multimedia player or even makes their own will win the battle. Winning the war will involve the best experience, selection, and price. Right now Apple has scored a single answered goal. With the instant paranoia of advertisers and writers the lack of content on itunes has allows other also-rans to score goals (albeit while the officials were looking at their own skates). Now Apple needs a go-ahead.

  7. “Launched early last year, Google Video is the first open video marketplace where any video producer, large or small, can upload their content and distribute it for free or at a price. Video prices are set by the content provider with no minimum or maximum dollar-limit. Owners also have the choice to offer their content with or without copy protection – enabling them greater control over its distribution.

    Additionally, content from Google Video can be viewed with a new player that can be downloaded for free from any playback page. It offers all the traditional playback options (play, pause, stop…) as well as a “thumbnail” navigation feature that enables users to browse through an entire video, or frames at a time, with a simple click of their mouse.

    iPod and Sony Playstation Portable users will also be able to download and watch any non-copy-protected content from Google Video, and even get it specially optimized for playback on their devices. Google Video Store will be available throughout the world, however purchasing premium content in the Google Video Store will only be available in the U.S.”

    http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/video_marketplace.html

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.