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Summary:

Google wants to delete all the videos it has been hosting on its long-neglected Google Video platform next month. Some users are now hoping that the company changes its mind and preserves the archive in a way that won’t lead to dead links and broken embeds.

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Google’s decision to finally close down its Google Video property and delete all content hosted there is facing some resistance. A petition created on Sunday asks the company to rethink its decision and either automatically move all content to YouTube or preserve the archives in some other way. From the petition:

“We understand that you want to shift the focus of Google Video, but are sad about the large amount of great content that will become unavailable as the result, and even if users move their content, dead links will result.”

Google emailed users of Google Video late last week, notifying them it was going to shutter the video portal. Videos won’t be available for viewing starting April 29, and registered users will have until May 13 to manually download their clips. There’s no option to automatically transfer clips to YouTube.

Google Video was meant to be the company’s online video play when it launched in January 2005. Google envisioned it as a platform for both amateur and professional content. The company briefly secured rights to TV shows from networks like PBS and CBS and offered single episodes for rental.

However, the rental efforts were quickly abandoned, and Google eventually shifted all of its video efforts to YouTube, which it bought for $1.65 billion in October of 2006. Users haven’t been able to upload videos to Google Video for two years now, and the site video.google.com now searches video content from YouTube, Dailymotion, MTV and other sources.

This isn’t the first time a large archive of user-contributed online media content faces being shut down. The sale of the pioneering digital music site MP3.com in the fall of 2003 led to millions of songs being deleted because the new owner Cnet had only bought the domain, but not the actual content of the site.

The petition started this weekend now hopes that history doesn’t repeat itself:

“Keeping content available on the Internet is hard, and we think that many users chose Google Video because they thought that Google is the safest choice to keep the videos available for decades, that you will always make sure that content is preserved. Please do.”

  1. This this is more likely to start happening, as unsavvy users think this kind of information just gets stored in a magic cloud and companies go out of business.

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  2. When they stopped allowing uploads to Google Video in 2009 they assured us of continued access to the videos that were there. Google is setting a bad precedent. Now one can only anticipate that after the next earnings report that doesn’t meet Wall Street expectations, they will shut down Google blogs without ads, and then blogs without enough traffic, or, of course, charge for blogs and other services. Google as we knew it, is dead.

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    1. Indeed! Google video is hosting more than “clips”. That is why it’s important. Clips of cats and penguins can use youtube but GV hosts tons of long lectures, hard to find documentaries and other archive-worthy material. To simply remove all that is ruthless and totally impropriate for Google. Users trusted Google with their material and Google promised them access. Removing google videos will also create dead links and dead embeds on other sites that catalog and link to videos there. Universities, interest groups, documentary sites. The list is long. Google video has not been dead at all since 2009 as many claim. It is a vital source of information not found elsewhere. It must be preserved in some form. That is the only right thing to do. Period.

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      1. Sorry about the typos.

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