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Google Throws Lead Paint on Movie Download Market

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 6 years ago

Movies 6

An anonymous reader writes "As promised Google shut down its video store Wednesday — and its DRM made sure all movie files purchased from the store ceased to funtion. This has sparked a firestorm of negative commentary from the Digerati who see it as pure theft. Cory Doctorow called it "...a giant, flaming middle finger, sent by Google and the studios to the customers who were trusting (as in dumb) enough to buy DRM videos". John Dvorak called it "old bait-and-switch tactics" where vendors make promises, but build-in the ability to reneg on those promises if they choose to do so later. Both Dvorak and Doctorow call for the judicial system to step in, but MP3 Newswire says that the abuse to consumer trust will do more damage to the paid download market than anything the courts could inflict. "As a consumer, if you purchase a digital movie file online only to have it unexpectedly repossessed you will probably think twice before ever buying any such download again. If you do consider it again it certainly won't be for the same price as before. Experience made these downloads worth far less to you. So what are feature film downloads that can be revoked at any time worth in the market place? To some Google Video customers the value of a movie download dropped all the way down to zero.""

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Burglary (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 6 years ago | (#20287599)

This is the functional equivilant of systematically burglarizing every customer's home. The "compensation" looks to be rather half-hearted. Customer pays cash (through credit card) gets "credits" back that expire in 60 days and cannot be redeemed for cash (or even a chargeback). I suppose that means it's not a crime if I break into someone's home, steal the TV and leave a pile of dollar off coupons as "fair compensation"?

Perhaps NOW people will realise what DRM REALLY means to them. Content providers to the world: "WE'LL do the stealing around here! Now shut up and grab your ankles"

Re:Burglary (1)

sxeraverx (962068) | more than 6 years ago | (#20287657)

Actually, I'm glad Google did this. Now, before you flame me, read on. I'm glad that Google did this now, rather than someone else later. It would be a lot worse if this were a lot more prevalent before it happened. I hope as many people hear about this as possible. Here, Google is sending a clear message (possibly intentionally?) that DRM'd downloads don't work. After this, it's a lot more likely that DRM will go away soon. Don't get me wrong--it's still highly unlikely, but it's looking much better than before.

Re:Burglary (1)

dclozier (1002772) | more than 6 years ago | (#20288045)

I had the same take on it. This can only help make people aware of the problem DRM inflicts on them and that is restricting them from using what they payed for. I do believe that DRM will eventually die off. I'm just afraid that the road ahead is still rather long. I hope we see more of these "wake up" calls tossed at consumers. The more people are aware of the problem the sooner it will go away. (well I can only hope)

Re:Burglary (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20290273)

Note to self.. To prevent burglary, don't buy products with a string tied to the seller. It requires the door to be left open to operate.

Early on, I noticed the early Google videos were tethered. They didn't work on Linux and required IE to view. When you used the D/L button, it would D/L, but still would not play offline. That sucked for a laptop on the road. Since the free stuff didn't work, there was absolutely no way the pay stuff would work, so I never got any.

Later I got Video Downloader for Firefox which worked fine on YouTube and Google Videos except the DRM stuff.

The bottom line is DRM breaks video purchases. People don't buy stuff that doesn't work. I was sure glad the non-free clips vanished from my search results. The Video Spam Bomb was making video searches useless. Even a Search of non-free and search for Free would have eliminated pages and pages of useless results.

Re:Burglary (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 6 years ago | (#20306351)

Note to self.. To prevent burglary, don't buy products with a string tied to the seller. It requires the door to be left open to operate.

Fully agreed. Apparently consumers and content providers forgot the lessons that Divx taught. Hopefully this will provide a timely reminder and let consumers know what DRM based strings look like.

It would seem that a lot of DRM schemes look a LOT like one of the scams currently running around where the mark deposits a check and wires a small percentage to the con artist only to find out days later that the check isn't worth the paper it's printed on. In part, people just haven't fully internalized the fact that large well known corporations are NOT in any way above outright theft but ARE to some extent above the law.

Plenty of people don't believe the latter part. Simple thought experiment. Let any individual sell a few thousand worth of anything and then steal it all back. Offer coupons for other stuff he sells (that nobody wants) in "compensation". See how long it takes to face criminal charges and jail time or at least end up ordered to pay the plaintifs in full plus punative damages.

DRM and Treacherous Computing (1)

mrcgran (1002503) | more than 6 years ago | (#20294001)

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