Google: New channel for Microsoft's DRM?

Google: New channel for Microsoft's DRM?

Summary: Reuters on ZDNN: Internet giant Google is in talks with digital music service Napster over an "extensive alliance" that could include an "outright acquisition," according to a Tuesday report in the New York Post, citing anonymous sources....Google has been in discussions with Napster to offer a digital music service, rather than start one on its own, the Post reported.

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TOPICS: Google
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Reuters on ZDNN:

Internet giant Google is in talks with digital music service Napster over an "extensive alliance" that could include an "outright acquisition," according to a Tuesday report in the New York Post, citing anonymous sources....Google has been in discussions with Napster to offer a digital music service, rather than start one on its own, the Post reported.

If the report is true, it raises some interesting questions about Google's position on digital restrictions management (DRM).  Napster is a Microsoft PlaysForSure-compliant source of content. In other words, the company uses Microsoft's DRM to protect the content that's acquired through its online service.  As was recently reported, Google now has its own DRM (or is that GRM?).  If the acquisition is completed, how would the two be reconciled? For people using Napster's Napster-to-Go service, Google wouldn't have much choice but to stick with Microsoft's DRM because its own DRM isn't supported in any of the portable digital music players on the market.  Unless Google has some other go-to-market strategy for its DRM (eg: maybe some devices with its DRM are coming to market) that isn't rising to top of mind.  If Google keeps Microsoft's DRM, then that would be an unbelievable feather in Microsoft's cap.  Imagine for example, Google's AdSense network driving people into the Napster music store where all the content is protected by Microsoft's DRM.  Google would probably become one of Microsoft's biggest technology channels overnight.  Advantage:  Microsoft's media juggernaut.

Topic: Google

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  • Latest DRM News

    Some stories that might be of interest:

    First, it looks like the broadcast flag and analog hole legislation is about to bite the dust. Why? Because 1) John Sununu actually has a clue about technology, and 2) Ted Stevens' daughter bought him an iPod. Suddenly, Senators are realizing how restrictive this legislation is:
    http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004343.php

    and

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/28/senators_figure_out_.html

    Also interesting, David Byrne is calling for a boycott of cds by the big 5 (RIAA members), which would mean he's asking you not to buy his own music, due to DRM issues:
    http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2006/01/drm.html

    Kind of shocking this one, Microsoft has publicly announced that the point of their DRM is to hinder competition (isn't that what got them in trouble with the DOJ in the first place?):
    http://dooooooom.blogspot.com/2006/01/drm-go-go.html

    and

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/30/msft_our_drm_licensi.html

    And finally, once again, the meager attempts by Sony to block users from enjoying their PSP's have been thwarted, bringing the grand total of successful DRM schemes up to zero:
    http://pspupdates.qj.net/2006/01/homebrew-games-and-emulation-for-all_30.html
    tic swayback
  • RE: Google: New channel for Microsoft's DRM?

    When Google acquired YouTube, they scrapped their own video service. So they might end up scrapping their own DRM if they buy Napster.
    PortVista