Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Google's Video "Store"

google-video-beta.jpgJustin Mason has some thoughts in “Google DRM and WON Authentication:”

That’s interesting. In my opinion, given that quote, I’ll bet Google’s DRM is something similar to the copy-protection systems used for many games since about id’s Quake 3 and Valve’s Half-Life; an online “key server” which validates codes, tracks player IDs, and who’s viewing what, “live”, as the video is cued up and played.
Anyway, that’s speculation. It remains to be seen if they’ve come up with something along the lines of WON authentication — and if it’s still easily subvertable or not.

I think Justin (unusually) is missing the point here. Google is famous for being even more tight-lipped than Apple about what they’re doing, but that doesn’t work in contract-land. If I’m paying for a service, I need to understand what that service is, or I won’t contract for it. With Apple, at least they tell you each time they enhance itunes for your enjoyment. Google has, to date, not offered many paid services at all, and none to consumers. Peoples expectations are different when they give you money, and Google is going to need to talk about the restrictions they’re putting in place.

Then again, maybe I’m just bitter.

2 comments on "Google's Video "Store""

  • Justin Mason says:

    Hey Adam —
    You’ve got a good point. I was just concentrating on the technical aspects of
    the DRM, rather than the rest of the Google Video package.
    I’m expecting more details to emerge over the next couple of months. All in
    all, this release seems to be missing a lot of the Google “polish”. I think
    what’s happened is that they’ve succumbed to “demo culture” — come up with a
    flashy demo and press release in time for a big tradeshow, and hopefully flesh
    out the details later. Shame; doesn’t seem very Google-ish.

  • Adam says:

    I don’t think details should be “emerging,” I think they should be handing out the details now. Not talking about the details of these systems gets you in trouble.

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