Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Mimsy Were the Technocrats: As long as we keep talking about it, it’s technology.

Google Video’s DRM is a disservice to Google’s users

Jerry Stratton, February 14, 2006

Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing has a good article on what Google is doing with their video service. For some reason, Google is doing what everyone else is trying to do to beat Apple: provide a product that is less useful to consumers and more restrictive of consumers’ fair use rights.

Now, Doctorow isn’t discussing iTunes in this article. He probably (and rightly) doesn’t like the iTunes restriction model either. But the strange thing about all of these services like Google’s is that they ignore why Apple was successful with iTunes. The iTunes Music Store was successful because it provided a less-restrictive service than everyone else was providing at the time. Apple didn’t bring out an iTunes Music Store that added more restrictions on what music fans could do with their music compared to other on-line venues.

Doctorow talks about movie products in general, and also offers his take on the new “improved” DVD formats set to come out soon. The companies competing to produce these formats appear to be going out of their way to make themselves as useless to the consumer as possible:

Take DVD Blu-Ray and DVD-HD: there we have two technology consortia warring to deliver the worst product they think they can sell. The format with the most restrictions has been promised the sweetest licensing deal for content. Blu-Ray recently announced that it would add region coding (locking DVDs to playback on players bought in the same country as the disc) to its final specification--after years of insisting that region coding just frustrated honest users.

He ultimately blames it on Hollywood, who do not want to make the same “mistake” that the music industry did: create a product that consumers want to use and can easily use, thus locking them in with the company that offers that product.

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