Thoughtful Post on Google DRM by Cory Doctorow

There is a tendency to dismiss those who argue against DRM as naive purists (or communists), but Cory Doctorow’s recent post, Google Video DRM: Why is Hollywood more important than users? argues cogently against Google’s approach to video:

Google’s DRM has the potential to drastically re-shape the contours of copyright law, turning a few entertainment companies’ wishful thinking about the way that copyright would work if they were running the show into de facto laws.

Some examples of user-rights that Google Video DRM takes away:

    Under US copyright law, once you buy a video, you acquire a number of rights to it, including the right to re-sell it, loan it to a friend, donate it to your kid’s school and so on. But with Google Video DRM, none of this is possible: your video is locked to your account and player.

    Educators, archivists, academics, parodists and others have the right to excerpt, copy, archive and use any video in their work, under the US doctrine of fair use. However, Google’s DRM tool stops them from doing this, and Google’s video can’t be played on anyone else’s tool.

When I questioned Google Video’s Peter Chane about this, he said that Google DRM is “user-friendly” — but none of the user rights embodied in the US copyright law are accommodated by Google’s DRM.

Given that Google lives by indexing, excerpting, and caching the content hosted on sites owned by others, its decision to prevent others from doing the same is unfortunate.

One Response to “Thoughtful Post on Google DRM by Cory Doctorow”

  1. b1-66er Says:

    If you’re interested in looking at television from the other side, you may be interested in the grand experiment of the coming weekend … 24 Hours of TV on http://www.24HoursOfTV.BlogSpot.com … relevant to your past posts, one of the organizers actually works for Google.

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Online Video and the Future of Broadcasting