Google Extends Playability, Offers Full Refunds For Defunct Store Videos

After a consumer backlash, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is extending the expiration date of videos bought from its now-defunct Google Video Store and is offering customers further refunds. Earlier this month, Google announced it was ending its download-to-own-or-rent program after 19 months. Customers who had bought videos via the store were told their DRM’d purchases would no longer play so they were offered coupons to use via stores that take transactions via the Google Checkout payment system. But many complained and, admitting a mistake was made, Google Video product manager Bindu Reddy wrote: “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. Our bad. We’re giving a full refund as a credit card refund – to everyone who ever bought a video. We’re going to continue to support playing your videos for another six months. We won’t be offering the ability to buy additional videos, but what you’ve already downloaded will remain playable on your computer.” It’s an illustration that certain DRM’d entertainment content may always be dependent on the future availability of the service from which it was purchased.