Google stops online video rentals

Written by Phil Cogar

August 13, 2007 | 16:08

Tags: #digital-distribution #rental #shut-down #video

Companies: #google

No more online video rentals or purchasing. At least from Google, that is.

On Friday, Google announced that it will shut down its online video and rental service on August 15. The service has only been available since January 2006.

For those of you that didn't know (I didn't), Google offered the ability to purchase videos online through its Video service ranging from a few pounds up to £10. If you felt your desire to see a programme didn't quite necessitate a purchase, you could pay less for the ability to rent a video for 24 hours instead.

The Video service will still be operational, but there will no longer be any paid content available.

The closure itself is big news but it also sheds some light on the DRM battleground.

Since the doors to the service will close in a couple of days, so too will the servers that hold your DRM information. That means that any videos you have bought from Google will no longer be viewable. In response to that, Google is issuing partial refunds to all customers. The refunds, however, will only be available to use through Google's Checkout service.

That brings up a big question itself. When a digital distribution service shuts its doors, should it have an obligation to the customer to give a full refund for any purchases made or provide an alternate, usable alternative? Tell us your opinion on the matter over in the
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