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Saturday, January 07, 2006

More details and nuance on Google Video Store

Sharp guy Chris Gaither of the LA Times has a nice piece on Google Video store in today's LA Times, which touches on some important details. He also uses the eBay metaphor (as I have in the past) to capture the potential impact this will have on content creators. Gaither writes:

    Much as online auctioneer EBay Inc. turned pack rats into retailers, Google's service also will allow anyone to distribute filmed or animated material they create — something digital tools make easier than ever.

    Independent filmmakers, for instance, can try to bypass Hollywood; dog trainers and yoga instructors can offer how-to videos; and someone who captures a plane crash or other major news event on video can skip the traditional media — all in favor of selling their work as a digital download.

    "Now any guy with a camera who believes in what they're doing can compete with the Sonys and Warner Bros. of the world," said director Ben Rekhi, who said he turned down a $125,000 distribution deal to instead sell his film "Waterborne" through Google for $4.99 a download.

Three important details:

- Google won't let anyone sell "pornography or obscenity" on its service. (Who wants to see that stuff on the Internet, anyway?) Who'll decide?

- Google devised its own digital rights management technology for preventing the sharing of purchased videos (eschewing Apple's and Microsoft's), which means that protected content (not all stuff distributed by Google must have the DRM attached to it, particularly free stuff) won't work on some devices, like the iPod.

- Mac users won't be able to purchase videos, for the time being. (Page said the company is developing versions of its new video player for other platforms.)

(Photo courtesy of wrangler97.)