BoingBoing has an email that was sent to those who have made purchases at Google Video. Part of the email reads:
In an effort to improve all Google services, we will no longer offer the ability to buy or rent videos for download from Google Video, ending the DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program. This change will be effective August 15, 2007.
You will no longer be able to view or download the videos you paid for after August 15th. So what do these customers get in return? Five dollars Google credit to a Google Checkout merchant, which will last for only 60 days, until that credit also expires.
To fully account for the video purchases you made before July 18, 2007, we are providing you with a Google Checkout bonus for $5.00. Your bonus expires in 60 days, and you can use it at the stores listed here: http://www.google.com/checkout/signupwelcome.html. The minimum purchase amount must be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping and tax.
Why is Google shutting down this service? It is not 100 percent clear. It can be that Google wants to focus on serving up ads and not content. It can be that this service just wasn’t making enough money for Google to continue it. It can be that Google had legal issues with the service. There can be numerous reasons.
There is additional coverage at Techmeme.
Postscript: Google has heard the complaints and we have an update over here.