Larry Page on Google Video, Free Web Content, Standards, & Digital Rights Management
Mike Valentine
Published on October 21, 2017
Writing & Speaking / Article Writing

I've long groused to relatives and friends that I ought to be able to take cell phone photos on my phone provider and send them to my family members, who each use differing cell phone providers - but you can't do that because the providers want you to switch to their service to be able to send photos taken on that phone. But what if you also need to send them to someone who can't change cell providers?

I wanted to get a Motorola iPod ROKR phone when they announced that they'd be making them available, so I could listen to my iTunes songs while connected to my phone. I didn't get one because only one cell phone provider has them and I wasn't willing to switch providers. How absurd! Did Cingular beleive all iTunes or iPod users would jump ship from their cell providers to run over and buy that phone?

So back to Larry Page and Google Video ... As I said, I have an iPod and want to be able to download those Google Video's to my iTunes (both computer and iPod) and play them there. While Page suggested that it was possible to do that (on non-copy protected videos), I've seen comments suggesting that the Digital Rights Management (DRM) used in Google Video is different from that in the iPod / iTunes DRM.

I imagine that Page brought up DRM because they were compelled to copy protect many of the copyrighted videos they would sell through the new service and Apple wouldn't make their iTunes / iPod DRM standard available or interoperable with Google Video DRM. Sony Play Station Portable (PSP) has the same issue (love that rootkit Sony) with DRM and Page mentioned PSP in his speech as well.

So finally, I'll get to my point about freely available web content. I established the Free-Content list in 1999 to make articles of writers online available to publishers online for use in ezines, newsletters and on web sites. Authors have always only asked for one thing in exchange for that use - a link back to their web site.

We authors do this to increase our reach, our visibility and our web site rank. As publishers we do it to increase our valuable content and offer our readers more than we are able to produce ourselves - to broaden available viewpoints beyond our own limited views and to increase search engine rank. How interesting that FREELY available content does so much for all three parties - Author, Publisher, Reader can all find (on the search engines) material we are interested in, view related advertisements (from Google Adsense) that may very well be of extreme interest to reader, support the publisher (and the advertiser, and Google) while that link back to the authors site increases their visibility in search engines. What an amazing feedback loop.

So back to Larry Page and his plea for standards and interoperability ... He stated plainly that standards would lead to inventions nobody could foresee or that no one person could dominate or control. I agree emphatically and believe that Free web content has the same beneficial effects on the web due to those things mentioned above. I believe that the "Creative Commons" open content licensing agreements benefit all in the same way open standards of DRM would benefit video and music content producers if you take the power and control out of the hands of Sony and Apple and CBS and Cingular and Motorola and put it in the hands of the content authors. Why hasn't Creative Commons taken hold as strongly on Video, Music and the visual arts as it has in writing and textual content?

Larry page missed an opportunity there. Maybe a conscious decision NOT to support Creative Commons was made. Maybe it was too controversial to discuss with CBS's Moonves on stage beside him and hundreds of consumer electronics executives and representatives in the Consumer Electronics Show keynote audience. None of those company execs would support open standards if it meant they lose control of their content (profits).

The geeks in attendance (Page, in his comments, included himself in that group) would all LOVE to be able to swap Google Videos between their phones (Verizon Vcast - which won't allow it), iPods, Personal Computers (both Apple and Windows boxes), Sony PSP's, Microsoft Xboxes and any future standards-based players. But it is not to be unless and until those competing companies see a way to share in the profits.

Google is sharing profits from their Adwords advertising with Adsense for publishers while providing one of possibly the greatest services (free search to find content). There will emerge methods and inventions to share profits if manufacturers and service providers let go of their proprietary DRM and approve standards of interoperability among electronic devices.

I might attempt to sell this article to the New York Times who might pay me for the three hours it took to write - but I'd rather it is seen, used and my voice is heard more widely. I've been published & paid by the NY Times for photographs but they are not available anywhere to my knowledge now. I would love to see them available online instead of the old delicate, yellowing newsprint tear sheet I have of those photos.

Copyright January 17, 2006 by Mike Banks Valentine

The link above leads to the transcript of the Consumer Electronics Show Keynote speech by Larry Page of Google, in which he makes a public plea for "Standards" in consumer electronics and software interoperability. He does this as a prelude to introducing Google Video to the public and introduces Leslie Moonves of CBS to announce availability of CBS shows and NBA basketball games on the new video service.

Mike Valentine - EzineArticles Expert Author

I publish this article under creative commons 2.5 license Besides, the New York Times definitely wouldn't link to my site, then they'd suck the editorial into their walled garden and ask $3.95 for anyone to read it after it was online for a week or two. No thanks. is viewed over a million times a year and I've made more via Google Adsense by freely publishing the articles I write on that site (and distributing the articles freely for others to use) than I was paid by the Times for use of those pictures. Free web content is profitable! Go figure.

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