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Google's decision to discontinue video may alter DMCA enforcement

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 13 Aug 2007 10:09 User comments (4)

Google's decision to discontinue video may alter DMCA enforcement Since the death of the commercial part of Google Video will render thousands and thousands of purchases useless, the Library of Congress will have no choice but to consider the matter when they return to their triennial review of the DMCA.
To date, the Library of Congress has granted exceptions to the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA in instances where DRM has rendered something completely unusable, such as eBook DRM which can render eBooks useless for handicapped people. The right to bypass DRM on products that no longer work properly was considered but rejected last time around.

Now, thanks to Google, we have a case study, a real-world example we can point to and say: "Hey, this isn't right." It features one of the world's most innovative and financially powerful technology companies bagging out on users. It features thousands of consumers buying DRMed goods in earnest, and it ends with a bang; Google decides to exit the market, leaving consumers with a load of useless goods.

Needless to say, this could happen with any player. Google could float its store if it wanted to, but it is exiting the business. What happens when Amazon does the same? Or Apple, or the next guy?

If this isn't further proof that parts of the DMCA should be gutted, at the very least it is a strong sign that the Library of Congress needs to address this issue. Congress should be thinking about this brave new world of "unproperty" where you're charged good money to "buy" products that, in reality, you're only renting until AverageCorp gets bored of the business.

Given the Library of Congress' history of ignoring pleas for exceptions to the DMCA, most notably for bypassing the CSS copy protection on DVDs, it seems unlikely that they'll change their stance now. But as cases pile up, it's only a matter of time before politicians are forced to reckon with unhappy constituents over DRM issues.

Source: Ars Technica

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4 user comments

113.8.2007 20:38

This raises some really good points. There are several companies out there that could turn belly up at any moment. The possibility of consumer lawsuits could even strengthen the case for a company to close its doors.

213.8.2007 21:57

Maybe a few class action lawsuits and some letters to the "con"stiuents on capitol hill would help in some action being taken??!.......

doubt it money grubbing "insert your favorite idoit(s) here"

315.8.2007 12:03

Originally posted by Unfocused:
This raises some really good points. There are several companies out there that could turn belly up at any moment. The possibility of consumer lawsuits could even strengthen the case for a company to close its doors.
This is my fear with DRM online only net games I refuse to even give them a chance to let me down by by passing it altogether.

Do you think goggle did this on purpose to reinvent its pay for stuff while trying to damage the foolishness thats the DMCA?

417.8.2007 19:10

This is only the start we will have to see what happens later.

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