updated 03:30 pm EDT, Tue August 21, 2007
Google Video Extension
Google's planned shutdown of all purchased and rented videos on its Google Video site has been delayed, the company has announced on its official blog. Though the company had originally planned for access to the videos to be shut down on the 15th and had initially issued refunds only through its own Checkout service, an extension will now let viewers keep access to clips for another six months and should issue a refund directly to their credit cards, allowing them to spend the money elsewhere.
"We thought offering the refund in the form of Google Checkout credits would entail fewer steps and offer a better user experience," said Google Video manager Bindu Reddy. "We should have anticipated that some users would see a Checkout credit as nothing more than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind."
The search engine developer has also agreed to let users keep any existing Checkout credits from the previous refund scheme as a goodwill gesture, though it notes that the ability to buy or rent videos is still disabled.
Google's move is said to have highlighted the dangers of digital rights management embedded into files, which in some cases grants companies the option of selectively disabling services or the access of particular users without their knowledge or consent.