Yet Another DRM? The Google DRM


Wall Street Journal has more details on what I had exclusively reported yesterday, Google’s new improved video plans. Ironically, WSJ flubs the biggest piece of news in the story, which is buried at the very end of the story…

Google has developed its own digital-rights-management software to protect downloaded videos from piracy.

…..Excuse me, but this is yet another DRM system, that will now duke it out with Microsoft’s DRM and Apple’s DRM, amongst scores of pretenders. Techdirt Mike, vigilant as ever caught this and points out that AP and Reuters did not even mention this in their reports on the pending news. And he sums it up nicely, “we now have yet another incompatible copy protection system that is likely to lock people in (while also opening up new security holes).”


To DRM or not to DRM?

Interesting that many people seem to want “One DRM to rule them all . . . and in the darkness bind them.”

Ok so its got the same avantages in only wanting one operating system around – but – if one or two companies control the DRM world they also control everything we can watch or read and can turn off or control any document. Surely its better to have a few so that we can pick and chose what level of control we will accept (hah hah yes I know you want all your content free . . .) and so control of the world’s content is at least spread a bit.

Jeff Schrock

Why aren’t we talking about the fact that mainstream people (like your mom) don’t like to watch video on their PC’s? Or their 2.5″ portable screens? Especially content that is longer than 10 minutes…

It’s exciting to see so much energy reinvested into this market but until and unless this content gets to the TV set with simple navigation it feels like an early adopter only product…

Matt VB

David Utter –

I think a device is a possibility since they do already have experience marketing plug and play devices like the Google Search Appliance.

Maybe a (Another) TIVO killer?


Come now Om, I expected more from you than this. Wiegh the options, get all the info first!

If Google is going to sell premium content from people like TV networks and movie studios, they don’t have a choice but to include DRM with their content. There’s NO WAY the likes of the big networks and studios would allow someone to download content without some kind of use-limiting wrapper that protects their interests. Whether it’s good or bad, I’m not going to debate that, but for the record, I hate DRM, but I understand that it’s necessary whenever you’re going to sell content. You have to have some way as a content distributor to make sure that the person who gets your stuff can use it, but not spread it around the world for free-it’d defeat your whole business plan.

The article doesn’t even discuss WHAT KIND of DRM is going to be in the movies, and what you can and can’t do with the movies. If Google can strike the line between making sure I can do whatever I want with my movies short of giving them away for free to all my friends and relatives while simultaneously protecting my privacy, then they could be an example of how to protect both the customer AND the distributor. Wait until the details are released before passing judgement, although I doubt they’ll be able to hit that line.

It’s not DRM that’s evil, it’s the way so many companies have implimented it; that is, sacrificing our rights and privacy for the benefit of the distributors and content owners.


Om, are you concerned that a DRM system exists in Google Video or that Google has gone ahead and created a new DRM system instead of using an already existing DRM system?


I hope they bundle it with a Skype phone.

Screw all these companies and their proprietary crap. Sorry, I’m just getting fustrated with all of this. Locked cell phones, proprietary VoIP hardware, MSN and Skype phones… oh, and worst of all DRM. This is not progress.


There are already 100s of DRM-free videos available online from They are all Mac, PC, and iPod compatible, and encoded using multi-pass AVC/H.264 codec. Just $1.99 each, with many free samples avaiable to boot!

Rishi Khaitan

I also noticed the omission of the DRM system. I’m guessing the writers didn’t really understand the significance of it. What I also find funny is that while Microsoft has been actively licensing its DRM out to others (i.e. Yahoo!), Apple has refused to and I think it’s unlikely Google will either.

Matt VB

Maybe it’s me; maybe CES has spread from it’s roots as THE Consumer ELECTRONICS Show but doesn’t anyone else think that Google’s announcement belongs outside CES or in a Press Release. Sure, computers are electronics but the service that’s being hyped is purely an online (software) play – no hardware involved

Comments are closed.