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.

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Comments on “Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: Google Building Content Locks?”

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Steve says:

No Subject Given

Just because they are going to use DRM doesn’t necessarily mean it will open up security holes. A lot of the problems with the ones on Windows thus far have been total hacks that overwrite drivers, install stupid software, and are basically poor methods of authentication.

DRM can be implemented in a smart way. Basically, all you really need is an account and authentication server, with some unique identifier on the client’s computer, and then a secure passage to the server. It’s not complex — just that most measures up until now are trying to lock down more than they really should, and screwing up people’s computers in the process.

Ben McNelly (user link) says:

No Subject Given

Well, I for one will be pleased to hack google stuff for a change of pace. I think google knows that its own search engine will be the fastest way to find out how to hack around their DRM… And for the most part they are just apeasing a wary media conglomerate here and there… If I buy a video I want to be able to do whatever i want with it within reason, say like save it as a bitmap sequence on 21,000 floppy disks then take it to the library for 7 weeks printing each frame out one by one, untill eventuly I have a whole role of movie large print toilet paper. (thus re-defining the frase “crappy movie”)

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