Users to Google Video: Please Don’t Delete Our Clips

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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.”

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