Google, DRM, and Evil

Google recently shut down its download video to own service. That shouldn’t have created a problem for customers who had bought video from it. But it did, since shutting down the service involved shutting down the servers that checked whether customers had the (digital) rights to videos they were trying to watch.

Google shows why DRM is evil was the title of one of the many posts on the issue. It’s a good post title, although I might have been tempted to switch “Google” and “evil.”

Meanwhile, on another side of the web-entertainment complex, Google is partnering with Universal to sell music downloads. (A startup called Gbox is also involved, but don’t get confused: Gbox is not a subsidiary or service of Google.)

Can we, in the light of the Google Video episode, buy music from Google and from Universal? (I won’t get into the trustworthiness of Universal here.) The answer may be yes, given that the music will be DRM-free. So maybe I’ll spare the world my Harry Potter parody in which the villan is referred to as Goo-Know-Who and DRM stands for Dark and Rotten Magic.

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