Google will be closing the virtual doors on their pay-per-download site, Google Video, as of August 15th.
In a move that is getting them in hot water with industry observers, critics and customers alike, this will mean that the DRM-protected videos that customers have paid good money to download will "no longer be viewable".
Google Video launched in January 2006 but has not been a commercial success. In a email sent out to all customers, the internet giant stated:
"As a valued Google user, we’re contacting you with some important information about the videos you’ve purchased or rented from Google Video."
"In an effort to improve all Google services, we will no longer offer the ability to buy or rent videos for download from Google Video, ending the DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program."
One angry customer, who seems to reflect the opinions of many others, posted the following comment on a tech forum:
"So I no longer own the product I purchased, they are taking it away from me without my permission? Isn’t that called stealing? Or at least an unreasonable seizure?"
Google will be refunding customers, in the form of credit for their in-house Google Checkout, but some reports suggest users will only be given token, not full refunds, BoyGenius comments:
"Did you buy $60 worth of videos? Sorry dude. You’ll only get $5.00 of that back".
If you wanted to put two and two together and get 47, then this might be a sign, following the news that Google were listed as vendors for Universal's DRM-free music initiative, that they are readying an all-in-one video/music download service.
Whether this is the case or not, maybe someone should remind the company of their infamous motto; "Don't be evil".