Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: Google Building Content Locks?
from the do-just-a-little-evil dept
We’re a bit hesitant to take seriously any reports concerning what Google is really announcing this week after all of the ridiculous rumors from earlier this week. However, the Wall Street Journal and some other trusted sources appear to have it on good authority that Google will be offering up videos for sale. That’s not that surprising, really. Google had said that was a part of the plan from the very beginning of its video offering. And, not surprisingly, given Google’s market power, the company has convinced some big name content providers to put their content in the system. Of course, simply copying what others are offering with broadcast content really is kind of boring and not that interesting. As we’ve seen, the power of online video is that it gets around the broadcasters and lets more people create and share their own content.
However, the really interesting point isn’t even being covered by most of the media. The Associated Press version and the Reuters version don’t even mention it, and the original Wall Street Journal version of the story buries it as the last sentence: “Google has developed its own digital-rights-management software to protect downloaded videos from piracy.” Google obviously felt it needed to do so to convince the big content companies to take part — but what it probably means is that we now have yet another incompatible copy protection system that is likely to lock people in (while also opening up new security holes). Hopefully, the actual details won’t be as bad, but hearing that the company has gone out and built a totally separate copy protection system (which, of course, will be broken quickly) makes it sound like Google’s taking a lesson from Apple in trying to exert extra control on a market.